Skip to main content

Full text of "Geographical readers for elementary schools"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 






By charlotte M. MASON. 

Past SvOf doth, with Maps and Woodcuts, 

Book I. for Standard II. — ^Elembntabt Geogba^ht, Is, 
yy II. „ m. — The Bbtush Empibb aitd the Gbeat 


„ III. „ lY. — ^The COTJ17TIS8 OF England, 28, Sd. 

„ IV. „ V. — ^Eubope (Preparing). 

„ v. ,, yi.— Asia, Afbica, Amebioa, and Austbalasia 



Tee London Geogbaphical Series. 








Book II. pob Stand abb III. 







fe.v.'M ', 

9 »•« 


Xi^^y' ' 


Children should be familiar with the Map of the 
World before the geography of any division of the 
earth's surface is studied in detail, and perhaps the 
year in ** Standard III." is a good time in which to 
lay this foundation for geographical knowledge. 

*^ The situation of the several parts of the earth is 
better learned by one day's conversing with a mop, 
than by merely reading the description of their situa- 
tion a hundred times over in a book of geography." — 
Dr. Watts, * On the Imjprovemeni of the Mind* 

It is hoped this little book may prove of use as a 
** Child's Guide to the Map of the World." The 
object of the reading lessons is to associate ideas of 
interest with the various States and regions of the 
world, with the situation of which the children are 
made familiar; and, at the same tftne, to convey 
in simple language a few of the leading facts and 
principles of Geography. 

The parts of the British Empire are treated in 


detail ; these, being widely scattered, are best studied 

in connection with the divisions of the earth to 


which they belong. 

It is proposed that only the chapters relating to 
the British Empire should be studied .for examina- 
tion purposes, the rest of the book being read by 
the class to promote intelligence in their special 

C. M. M. 




I. The Seas and Shores of Europe 1 

11. „ „ „ (PartIL) .. 4 


rv. Plains and Mountains of Eubopb 11 

V. „ „ „ (PartIL) .. 14 

VI. BivBBS OF Europe.: 18 

VII. The British Isles 23 

VIII. „ „ (PartIL) 26 

IX. The Cruise of the 'Seagull' .. .. .. .. 30 

X.' * „ „ „ (PartIL) .. .. 34 

XL Round North Britain 37 

XII. The Ocean Shores .. ', ./ .. 42 

XIIL The Principality 46 

XIV. The Western Horn 50 

XV. From Jo^n O'Groat's to Land's End .. .. 68 

XVL „ ' „ „ (PartIL) 57 

XVIL „ „ „ (Pwrtin.) 61 

XVm. „ „ „ (Part IV.) 63 

XIX. Ireland 69 

XX. „ (Partn.) 72 

XXL France 77 

XXIL Spain and Portugal 83 

XXIIL Italy 87 

XXIV. Switzerland 91 


LB880V PAOa 


XXVL Holland 100 

XXVII. Sweden and Nobwat 105 

XXVIU. BussiA 110 

XXIX. „ (Part II.) 113 

XXX. Asia 116 

XXXI. „ (Part II.) 119 

XXXII. Pbbsla. 123 

XXXIII. Arabia 126 

XXXIV. OuB Indian Empibe 130 

XXXV. „ „ (Part 11.) 136 

XXXVL „ „ (Part III.) .. ., • .. 139 

XXXVII. The Celestial Empibe 142 

XXXVIII. „ „ (Partn.) 147 

XXXIX. Afbioa 148 

XL. „ (PartlL) 154 

XLI. „ (Partm.) 159 

XLII. The New Wobld 164 

XLUI. NoBTH Amebiga 168 

„ The West Indies 172 

XLIV. The Dominion of Canada 173 

XLV. „ „ „ (Part II.) .. .. 179 

XLVI. South Ambbica 185 

XLVII. The Gbeat South Land 190 

„ New Zealand 196 

Polynesia 197 




Book II. for Standard III. 



The seas which bound Europe are branches of the 
Atlantic, excepting on the north, where the cold 
waters of the Arctic Ocean wash the coasts. The 
Atlantic is a much smaller ocean than the Pacific, 
but it is much more used by the ships which carry- 
on the commerce of the world. It lies between the 
west coasts of Europe and Africa^ and the east coast 
of America. 

The bed of this ocean is unlike that of the Pacific ; 
the high places do not often rise into mountains that 
appear above water as groups of islands, but they are 
long, level heights, or plateaus, a great way under 
water, although much higher than the rest of the 
ocean bottom. The low parts of the ocean floor lie 
at a depth of about five miles. 

Cables by which telegraphic messages are sent 
from Europe to America extend from the island of 
Valencia (off the west coast of Ireland) to Newfound- 

* For a notice of the general distribution of land and water, see 


land, along the floor of the sea at a depth of three 
miles, in some places, below the surface of the 

A strange fact about the Atlantic is the moyement 
through its northern basin of a mighty river of warm 
sea-water. This river is larger than all the fresh- 
water rivers of the world together ; and instead of 
having banks of solid earth, it is walled in on either 
side by the ocean waters. 

This river is the Ovif Stream, and its waters keep 
thus distinct because warm water does not mix 
readily with cold : it consists of ocean- water which 
has been heated under the burning sun of the 
tropics, that is, in the hottest part of the world. 
This stream flows towards the west, into the Gulf of 
Mexico, where it is shut in for a while under a hot 
tropical sun, and when it comes out through the 
Strait of Florida, it is the broad river of veiy warm 
water we have spoken of. Because it has come out 
of a gulf, it is known as the OtiJf Stream. 

Having swept out of the Strait of Florida, the 
Gulf Stream flows nearly as far north as Newfound- 
land ; then it crosses the ocean, and one part of 
the stream passes Britain and Norway. The water 
loses much of its heat as it flows towards the 
cold north, but it is still warm enough when it 
reaches England to keep our harbours from being 
frozen, and to warm the westerly winds which blow 
from off the sea over our own country and the mari- 
time countries of Western Europe, 

Not only this warm stream, but all the waters 
which wash the shores of Europe help to make its 

B 2 


climate pleasant. Water does not become so hot as 
dry land in summer, nor so cold in winter. Hence 
the winds that blow over seas and become filled with 
watery vapour are cool and pleasant in the summer, 
and mild and moist in the winter. It is plain, then, 
that if the winds which reach a country have come 
across wide waters, that land must have a more 
pleasant, temperate climate than another land which 
has no sea-breeze to cool it during summer heat, nor 
warm it during winter cold. 




Look, now, at a map of Europe ; you will find it is 
broken into by the ocean in a remarkable way, — 
much more so than any other continent. The 
Atlantic is an ocean of inland seas that enter into the 
very heart of the land, and most of these are in 
Europe. To the south, there is the large, blue, 
beautiful Mediterranean, with the Black Sea and the 
two small seas connected with it, — the Sea of Mar- 
mora and the Sea of Azof; the Archipelago, so full 
of islands that its name is given to any sea which 
contains many islands; and the Adriatic. These 
form a chain of seas, some of which are connected by 
sti:aits. The burning winds which blow from the 
African Desert cross the Mediterranean and become 
somewhat cool and moist before they reach the plea- 


sant lands of Southern Europe. The long name 
belonging to this sea has a curious history ; it means 
middle of the earth ; and was so called because the 
ancients, to whom a great deal of the world was un- 
known, thought that the Great Sea, round which lay 
all the famous countries of the Old World, was 
indeed the middle of the earth. 

Now, look at the west ; see how the Bay of Biscay 
and the English Channel, the Irish Sea and the 
North Sea, and the Baltic, with the various straits 
and belts which connect them, break into the very 
middle of the continent. Notice how, here, as in the 
south, these inland seas form many peninsulas. In 
the Mediterranean there are the Spanish peninsula, 
Italy, and Turkey ; and, in the north, the Scandina- 
vian peninsula, siid the little northward pointing 
peninsula of Denmark ; to say nothing of Britain, 
which is not almost, but altogether an island. 

Even the cold Arctic serves a kindly purpose; 
the bitter winds which blow from the icy regions 
round the pole are a little less keen than if they had 
come overland. But what is to be said for Eastern 
Europe? The whole broad continent of Asia 
stretches between it and the eastern ocean. The 
consequence is what you might expect, the air is 
bitterly cold and dry in the winter, and hot and dry 
in the summer ; and never moist and pleasant as 
are the winds which blow towards Europe across the 

The Atlantic with its inland seas benefits Europe 
in another way ; this continent has, for its size, more 
land bordering on the sea than any other. This 


long coast-line is a great advantage, because countries 
which have a seaboard, or coast-line, can trade far 
and near with their ships; and as almost every 
country in Europe has some seaboard, this continent, 
placed nearly in the middle of the world, is able to 
carry on a wide commerce with the other continents, 
east and west. 

The countries of Europe have not all an equal 
share in this commerce ; those that have much 
coast-line, like Britain, can most readily become 
great sea-faring nations. But, for this purpose, the 
coast must be broken with inlets, which make snug 
harbours for the ships ; an unbroken coast, like that 
of much of Africa, for instance, is of little use. 

Examine the map of Europe to see which coun- 
tries have the longest and most indented coast-lines* 
and you will find that these either were at one time* 
or are now, great maritime, or sea-going, nations. 

By looking at the map you will see that the 
Atlantic is a highway which carries ships westwards 
to America, or, southwards, to Africa. By rounding 
the southern point of Africa, vessels may make for 
the south and east of Asia. But this, you will see, 
is a long and roundabout way ; if it were not for the 
little neck of land which separates the Mediterranean 
from the Eed Sea, how easy it would be to sail 
through these two seas, and out into the Arabian 
sea, and so across to India! To make this short 
passage possible, a wonderful piece of work has 
been finished quite lately ; a water-way was dug a 
hundred miles long, and wide and deep enough for 
ships to sail in. Then the sea waters rushed in and 

oouimaBS of eubofb. 

filled this channel, which is called the Saes Canal, 
because it cuts through the isthmus of Suez; and 
ships for India or Ghina^ or for any part of the south 
or east of Asia now go by this most useful canal. 



A GLAKOE at the map sjiows that the countries of 
Europe are very unequal in size. The eastern half 
of the continent is occupied by one huge country 
which reaches from the Arctic on the north to the 
Black Sea on the south, and as far west as the 
Baltic. Our own land only extends through five 
degrees of latitude, but Bussia stretches through 
thirty degrees from north to south. For this reason, 
various climates prevail in the different parts of 
Bussia ; in the north there are wide frozen plains 
upon which the sun never rises for weeks during the 
long Arctic night; while in the south there are 
warm sunny regions where the vine grows freely. 

This large country is an empire. The people are 
very unlike those of the rest of Europe in their ways, 
their language, and their religion. St. Petersburg, 
the capital city, has sq many fine houses and other 
handsome buildings, that it is sometimes called a 
city of palaces. 

To the north-west of Bussia are the two countries 
of Norway and . Sweden, which form a peninsula 
pointing south, and are washed by the sea every- 
where except where they join Bussia^ 

8 OOT7NTBI1S0 07 X1TB0PS. 

The west of Norway is exposed to the strong 
Atlantic waves; the ocean reaches into the land by 
many narrow inlets, called jwrdSy and countless 
islands fringe the coast. 

These countries, also, stretch beyond the Arctic 
circle into the frigid zone, and have, therefore, long 
winter nights ; but as the people are fond of books, 
they spend many of these dark hours in study. 
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is built upon 
several islands joined together by bridges, and is a 
very clean and beautiful town. 

To the south of this is another smaller peninsula, 
the only one in Europe which points towards the 
north. With the islands o£f its, eastern coast, it 
forms the kingdom of Denmark* Copenhagen, the 
capital, is built upon an island. 

The tiny island of Heligoland, which lies off the 
south-west coast of the peninsula, belongs to Britain. 

Still to the south-west, upon the North Sea, are 
two small, but busy, countries. Holland, the most 
northerly of these, lies so low that the people are 
obliged to build strong embankments called dykes 
to keep the sea firom bursting in upon their neat, 
well-kept towns and carefully tended fields. 

Belgium, the small country to the south, is so 
busy, so full of towns and people, that the whole 
country looks like one huge city. Beautiful lace 
and handsome carpets are made in Brussels, its chief 

These two countries are kingdoms. 

The next country to the south-west is a republic. 
It is the gay and pleasant land of France, with 


which England had, in old days, many long wars ; 
but English people now go there in crowds to see 
the country, and Paris, its beautiful capital. 

France is washed by the Bay of Biscay on the 
west, and by the English Channel on the north. 
The pleasant Channel Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, 
Aldemey, and Sark, belong to England, though 
they lie off the north coast of France. 

Crossing the English Channel, we come to our 
own country, which, with Scotland to the north, and 
Ireland (which is an island) to the west, forms the 
kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. London, 
the capital of this kingdom, is the largest and richest 
city in the world ; it does not look so bright and gay 
as Paris, however, because the smoke from the 
enormous number of coal fires makes the buildings 

In the south of Europe is a large peninsula, 
which points southward, and contains the countries 
of Spain and Portugal. The people of these 
countries were at one time famous sailors who 
explored and conquered many lands ; but now they 
have become a rather idle people. Spain and 
Portugal are kingdoms. A little bit of this large 
peninsula belongs to England — the rocky fortress of 
Gibraltar, which stands exactly at the opening into 
the Mediterranean. 

The next southern country of Europe is also a 
peninsula, of a curious shape, something like a boot 
with a large island off the toe. This is a beautiful 
land where grapes and oranges grow freely, and 
where you might live nearly always in the open air. 


Borne, its capital, was once the greatest city in the 
world, and had large armies of brave and obedient 
soldiers who conquered nearly every country known 
in their day, including our own. But all this glory 
has long since passed away. 

To the south of Sicily are three small islands 
which belong to Britain — Malta, Gozo, and Oomino. 
Malta is the largest and most important of these ; 
it has a delicious climate, and grapes and oranges €knd 
other southern fruits grow here as in Italy. British 
soldiers are stationed here to protect the British 
merchant ships which trade in the Mediterranean. 

The beautiful little country of Switzerland lies, 
all among the mountains, to the north of this penin- 
sula ; it is a republic, inhabited by a brave people. 
Switzerland is sometimes called the playground of 
Europe, because crowds of people from other coun- 
tries go every year to keep holiday among its 
mountains and lakes. 

Separated from Italy by the Adriatic Sea is an- 
other peninsula pointing south, containing two 
countries. Turkey, the northern of these, is held 
by the only European nation which is not Ghristiaa 
Constantinople, its capital, stands on a lovely spot 
upon the Bosphorus. 

The little country of Q-reece, to the south, was, like 
Italy, at one time the greatest country in the world. 
It is pleasant to know that S6dnt Paul travelled about 
here and taught the people, and wrote to some of 
the towns letters, which we may now read in the 

The rather large island of Oypbus, which lies in 


what is called the Levant — ^that is, the eastern part 
of the Mediterranean — has fallen quite lately into the 
occupation of Great Britain. It is a pleasant island, 
containing many mountains, and large forests of oak 
and walnut trees. Delicious fruits and various kinda 
of com grow on the open plains. 

The centre of Europe is occupied by two large 
empires: to the north-west is Germany, where the 
people of the various provinces and principalities 
speak one language, and have, on the whole, a friendly 
feeling towards each other ; and to the south-east is 
Austria, in which there are two or three countries, 
between the inhabitants of which little frigidly feel- 
ing exists, as they speak difiEerent languages, and do 
not belong to one race. 



By looking at the map of Europe we may learn a 
good deal about the appearance of the countries in 
it. We see which are mountainous, and therefore 
likely to be beautiful, cmd whether there are lakes 
among the mountains to add to their beauty. We 
see which are the dull, level lands or plains, and if 
there are lakes in these flat plains. We learn in 
what part of Europe the mountains lie, and in what 
directions the various chains run. 

The direction of the mountain chains is one of the 
first things that persons who understand geography 
notice when they examine a map^ because the climate 


of a country may be a good deal afifected by the 
position of its mountains. These may stand Uke a 
huge sheltering wall, to shield the land from the icy 
north wind, the bitter east, or the burning south; 
or, while rising as a barrier against all pleasant 
moisture-laden winds, they may leave the land ex- 
posed to the biting blasts off frozen plains. Then, 
again, the mountains rear their heads so high among 
the clouds that they cause the watery vapour of which 
these are composed to drop in frequent showers; so 
that a mountainous country has generally a good 
deal of rain, excepting in dry, hot lauds, where clouds 
seldom gather. 

We must consider one more fact about mountains. 
Trace the river lines upon a map to the spot where 
they begin, and you will find that rivers generally 
have their sources in mountains. Also, you will 
notice that several rivers rise in the same range of 
mountains, and flow in the same general direction 
until they reach the sea. Look again, and you may 
see that other rivers rise in these same mountains, 
and flow in quite an opposite direction, perhaps to 
empty their waters into another sea. The reason of 
this is easy to understand. The rain which falls 
upon a mountain either streams down the slopes in 
little runlets, or sinks through crevices in the rock 
deep into the mountain-side. By-and-by the under- 
ground crevices become so filled that they can hold 
no more, and the water is forced out as a spring. 
The waters from many runlets and springs collect 
and form a stream^ and the stream makes its way 
steadily downwards to the lowest land it can reach, 


and, at last, to the sea, because the sea lies lower 
than any land. On its way seaward, the mountain 
stream is joined by many other streams, and fed by 
many springs, until it becomes a river, wide and deep 
enough in some cases to carry big ships. 

Notice two points in this little history of a river : 
in the first place, runlet, stream, river, are constantly 
flowing downwards. Try to imagine a river rising in 
land as flat as a table and flowing towards a distant 
sea, always over quite flat land. You cannot. The 
water would cease to flow, and would spread into 
stagnant ponds. A river can only flow so long as it 
finds some little slope in the land down which it can 
run. If the slope be great the river rushes along 
with a headlong course, like a hoop trundled down a 
hill; the more level the land is, the slower is the 
current of the rivers, and very sluggish are the 
streams which creep over wide plains. Knowing 
that every river must run down a slope, a glance at 
the map will show in what direction the land slopes 
— to the west here, to the north there ; in whatever 
direction a river runs from its source to the sea, the 
general slope of the land must be in that direc- 

Notice, in the second place, that it is not upon one 
side only of a mountain that rain falls and springs 
rise. If the streams we have been considering have 
their sources on the southern slope, we may be sure 
that the same thing takes place on the northern 
slope also. Now as the streams which rise on the 
north side cannot possibly flow up the mountains to 
unite with those which rise on the south side, they 


must flow down and make for themselres courses in 
the opposite direction, perhaps towards a far-distant 
sea. Thus the mountain's ridge divides the streams 
which rise upon one slope from those which rise 
upon the other : and, in this way, mountains often 
form a water-parting ; that is, a division or 
parting between streams which flow in contrary 
directions. As the direction in which the rivers 
flow depends thus upon the position of the mountains 
and the direction of the slope, and as vessels trade 
upon the rivers, and towns grow up upon theii* banks, 
we have here a second reason why the direction of 
its mountain chains is an important fact in the 
geography of a continent. 



PART n. 

Turning now to the map of Europe, we notice that 
the three southern peninsulas are well covered with 
mountains, while they are marked thickest in Switzer- 
land, the beautiful little country lying to the north 
of Italy. In fact, the Swiss mountains seem to be 
the centre of those in the south-west of Europe, 
and several ranges branch from them into France, 
Germany, and Austria, as well as into the three 

Hungary, a country which forms part of Austria, 


has a cbain of mountains named the Carpathian^ 
curving round its eastern side. 

There is also a range, quite away from the rest» 
stretching from the north to the south of Scandinavia. 
These are called the Scandinavian Mountains. 

All the rest of Europe is very flat, and forms a 
great plain which takes in the whole of Bussia, as 
well as the countries to the south of the Baltic Sea 
and the German Ocean. Nearly half of Bussia is 
covered with immense forests, some of them much 
larger than all the British Isles put together. 

Holland, where the sea is kept out by embank- 
ments, is one of the lowest parts of the great plain. 
The other very low part is at the south-east end, 
round the Caspian Sea ; here, a high wind drives the 
sea-waters over the land ; and not only the waters, 
but the vessels upon them are at times driven upon 

In the north of this plain, in Bussia, are Ladoga 
and Onega, the two largest lakes in Europe. Lakes 
are common in mountain valleys, but sometimes, as 
here, they fill up the lowest parts of a plain. The 
long range of Scandinavian Mountains runs close 
to the Atlantic coast ; the sea rushes in between these 
mountains and fills the narrow valleys which are 
called fiords. The summits of this range are, in the 
north, covered with perpetual snow and ice, but the 
«ides are clothed with great forests of pine ; indeed, 
these pine forests cover more than three-quarters of 
the peninsula. There are several large lakes in 
Sweden, Wener and Wetter being the largest. 

The Alps, the highest and grandest of all the 


mountain ranges of Europe, nearly fill up the little 
country of Switzerland; whichever way you look, 
their snowy summits rise, range behind range, further 
than the eye can follow. We can only get into Italy 
from Switzerland by crossing a chain of these high 
Alps, and several passes lead from the one country 
to the other, as the Spliigen Pass, the Simplon Pass, 
and others. Mont Blanc, the highest point in the 
Alps, is also the highest mountain in Europe; it 
falls within the boundary line of France, and is 
15,781 feet in height. Many lovely lakes fill up the 
Alpine valleys ; of these, Geneva is the largest. 

The Apennine chain, which is a spur of the Alps, 
runs through Central Italy from north to south, 
reaching into the heel of the boot, and down into 
the toe, and under the water, and out again into 
Sicily. These mountains are mostly covered with 
forests of chestnut trees, the nuts of which are a 
common food of the people. 

This range contains two volcanoes, or burning 
mountains, Vesuvius in Italy, and Etna in Sicily. 
These mountains do not always emit fire, but at 
times strange rumblings are heard from within 
them, and smoke and flame may be seen rising 
from an opening at the top called the crater. Then 
streams of melted matter, called lava, pour down 
the sides of the mountain, and showers of ashes 
are shot up into the air and fall upon the plain below. 
M6uiy centuries ago, two towns which stood at the 
foot of Vesuvius were buried, the one under ashes, 
and the other under lava. 

Mount Hecla, in Iceland, is also a volcano. 

> HOiWTAiirs or eubopk. 


The Balkan FeoiDBnla ie fall of mountaiiu, the 
valleys between which are often only deep dark 
gorges. The Balkan range, which rans throng the 
middle of the coantry from west to east, ia sometiaiea 
called the back-bone of Tarkey. 

Spain is another moimtainons penitiflnla. Thd 
Pyrenees Mountains Beparate it from France on the 
north, and seTeral ranges oroBS the country from eaat 
to west. AU the centre of Spain, that is, nearly 
half the peninsula, is a high table-land where aU 
green .things are patched up in sumniei for want 
of rain. 

Both Ae OarpathiuiB and the varicmB mountain 

18 BIYSBS 09 SI7B0PB. 

ranges of Germany are rich in mineral treasures, and 
many men are employed in the mines. Grold and 
silver, qnicksilyer, copper, lead, and iron are found 
in these rich mountains. 



The map of Europe shows many river lines, for 
the whole continent is well watered. 

The frozen plains of Northern Eussia have, plainly, 
a northward slope, because the river Dwina flows in 
that direction into the White Sea. During the short, 
hot summer of these regions. Archangel, which 
stands at the mouth of the Dwina, is the great sea- 
port of the north ; 1}ut for more than half the year 
no ships can sail in those firost-bound seas. 

Look, now, at the Scandinavian peninsula. The 
mountains which form the wat&rparting of the country 
run from north to south, so the land has an eastern 
and a western slope, down each of which the rivers 
flow. As the mountains run close to the sea on the 
western side, the rivers have very short courses, and 
are, for the most part, mountain torrents hurrying to 
the ocean. The Swedish rivers have a rather longer 
slope to run down, but as they only cross the country 
from the mountains to the Baltic Sea, where they 
empty themselves, none of these are large or im-« 
portant rivers. 

The central plain of Europe, which lies along the 


southern coasts of the Baltic and North Seas, has a 
northward slope, for four or five large rivers empty 
themselves into these seas after a northward course. 
The Vistula and the Oder flow into the Baltic ; the 
Elbe into the North Sea; and further west, the 
Bhine, coming out of Holland, enters this same sea. 
The Rhine is a wide, and, in its earlier course, a rapid 
river, which has its sources in the high Alps. It is 
more beautiful than any other river in Europe. 
Most of its course is in Germany, and the Germans 
love it well and sing songs in its praise. 

The Seine, which is spanned by beautiful bridges 
and has the fair city of Paris on its banks, is another 
northward flowing river which empties itself into the 
English Channel. 

Our own Thames, upon which London stands, 
flows down a slight eastward slope from the Ootswold 
Hills to the North Sea. Though much smaller 
than many of the rivers of the Continent, it is as 
famous as any for its great city, and for all the ships 
upon its waters. It has a wide mouth, into which 
the tide wave of the sea rushes. This kind of river 
mouth is called an estuary. 

Now we come to the westward slope of the Conti- 
nent, which we can easily discern, as half a dozen 
rivers in France and Spain flow in a westerly 

Flowing into the Bay of Biscay, is the Loire, a 
large French river which often overflows its banks, 
to the great distress of the people, whose houses and 
crops are thus destroyed. 

Further south, the Gironde also opens into the 



Bay of Biscay. This is an estuary into which two 
French rivers flow. 

The chief rivers of Spain^ the Doaro, Tagus, 
Guadiana, and Gaadalquivir, flow down a westward 
slope towards the Atlantic, into which they empty 
themselves. Each of these rivers has its course 
between two of the mountain chains which cross the 

The EbrOy another large Spanish river, enters the 
Mediterranean after a course down an eastward slope. 

When we reach the southern shores of Europe, we 
expect the land to slope and the rivers to flow south- 
ward, as the land usually slopes towards the sea. 
This is the case with the Bhone, which rises among 
Alpine snows, flows through " Geneva's blue waters," 
makes a few turns upon enteriug France, and then 
flows southward with a wonderfully straight and 
rapid course to the Mediterranean, where it empties 
itself. Bising at so great a height, this river has a 
very rapid current ; it tears up the ground in its 
hasty course, and briugs with it much earth and 
stones, which it lays down at its mouth. Land 
formed at the mouth of a river by the mud which it 
brings down is called a ddta, from its resemblance to 
the Greek letter (A) so called; and most rivers 
divide, as the Bhone does, into several mouths when 
they reach the deltas they have formed. 

The direction of the mountains which fill the two 
peninsulas of Italy and the Balkan prevents the 
rivers from having a southern course, wherefore we 
find that the Fo and the Danube both flow down 
eastward slopes. 

- — J 


The To, rising like the Bhone in the Alps, is also 
a very rapid river which flows across Northern Italy 
and into the Adriatic. As both the Fo and its 
tributaries rise in high mountains, they tear along 
so fast that they bring much earth with them; so 
this river, also, has made a delta which stretches 
more than ten miles into the sea. 

The wide and beautiful " blue Danube " flows into 
the Black Sea. You will seCi on the map that M 
one part of its course, near where it first forms the 
boundary between Boumania and Bulgaria, the 
mountains on either side of the river nearly meet. 
The narrowest part of this ravine is called the Iron 
Gate, where the river flows through a deep and 
narrow gorge more than a mile in length. 

No mountains divert the courses of the slow rivers 
which flow through the flat steppes of Southern 
Russia ; therefore these, the Dniester, the Dnieper, 
and the Don, creep down a slight southern slope to 
the Black Sea. So also does the Volga, which is 
the largest of all the rivers of Europe, and flows into 
the Caspian Sea. It is a slow, full river, which has 
never been near a mountain in all its course, and 
which never reaches the real sea ; for the Caspian^ 
though called a sea, is only a salt-water lake, as it 
does not open into the ocean. 

Questions on tlie Map of Europe. 

1. Name the empire which oooapies the eaat of Europe. 

2. What two northern countries form a peninsula ? 

3. What country is a small peninsula, pointing to the north ? 

4. What country is washed by the Bay of Biscay and the Bnglish 
Channel ? 


5. How many large peninsnlaB are there in the Bonth of Eoxope ? 

6. What two oountries form the most western of these ? 

7. Name the oentral peninsula. What small ooontry lies to the 
north of it? 

8. What two coantries form the eastern peninsnla? 

9. Name the two great oentral coantries? 

10. What countries of Earope are washed hjthe Mediterranean 7 
By the Bay of Biscay? By the North Sea? By the Baltic? By 
the Arctic Ocean? 

11. Which are the mountainous coantries of Europe ?J 

12. What countries belong to the great plain partly or altogether ? 

13. What are the Swiss mountains called ? 

14. Name the mountains of Italy. 

15. What mountains divide France firom Spidn? 

16. What mountain-chain orosaes TazlDsy from west to east? 

17. Where are the Scandinavian mountains ? 

18. What mountains divide Europe from Asia on the east? On 
the south ? 

19. Name three rivers that flow Into the Baltic. 

20. Three that enter the German Ocean. 

21. The river on which Paris stands." 

22. A river which flows into the Bay of Biscay. 

23. The two largest rivers which flow through Spain and 

24. A French river which flows into the Mediterranean. 

25. An Italian river which falls into the Adriatic. 

26. A large river which enters the Black Sea from Turkey. 

27. The two largest rivers which enter the Black Sea from 

28. The large river which flows into the Caspian. 

29. Through what countries does the Danube flow? The Bhine? 
The Rhone? 

30. In what countries are the Po, the Thames, the Elbe, the Volga, 
the Seine, the Don, the Loire? 

81. What four seas open into each other on the south ? How are 
they connected with each other and with the ocean ? 

32. Name the countries of Europe which are most broken into by 
the sea. 

33. Name the largest islands in each of the sees of Europe. With 
what oceans are these seas connected ? 




WHA.T do we mean by the ** British Isles " ? The 
large island which contains the countries of England, 
Scotland, and Wales ; and Ireland, the smaller island 
to the west. These are certainly the British Isles, in 
every way the most important of them ; therefore 
the larger island is called Oreat Britain by way of 
distinction. Bat the two or three large and the 
numerous small islands off the coast of England, and 
the hundreds of islands off the Scotch coast, and the 
thousands of islets off the coast of Ireland, are also 
British isles. These are not gretU Britains by any 
means ; some of them are very small indeed, being 
merely rocks, rising out of the sea, the wild haunts 
of swarms of sea-birds ; others are large enough to 
be the homes of a few fisher folk ; others, again, are 
large islands with tunna and villages and busy towns 
upon them. 

These British Isles keep on the whole close to- 
gether, clustering round the large island of Great 
Britain; that, again, is only separated from the 
Continent by the narrow North Sea and the still 
narrower English Channel. If this narrow sea could 
be drained away we might go by rail to France and 
Holland and Belgium — a delightful idea to persons 
who wish to travel on the Continent, while they 
dread the miseries of sea-sickness. 

So narrow are the Straits of Dover, which connect 
the English Channel with the North Sea, that a 


man might walk in a few hours the 21 miles which 
here divide England from France. 

If the North Sea were to disappear, the slope to the 
bottom of its bed would be so slight that we should 
hardly know we were going down-hill. Imagine 
any of the low green hills of Southern England to 
be suddenly lifted from their bases, and set in the 
midst of this sea ; they would not be covered, but 
would rise as islands, often high above the waters. 
Indeed, if the churches in your town could be taken 
up a& they stand and placed on the sea floor, the 
spires would most likely rise above water ; for the 
seas between Britain and the Continent are in few 
places more than 150 feet deep. 

The fact is, that at one time, ages before " History " 
began, there were no British Isles and no North Sea, 
but the Continent stretched into the ocean a good 
way beyond the furthest coast of Ireland. Now, the 
eastern shores of England lie so low in some places 
that huge banks have been raised to keep out the 
sea; still lower do the opposite coasts of Holland 
and Belgium lie; wherefore these are called the 
Netherlands, or lowlands, while " Holland " merely 
means '* hollow land." It is supposed that the land 
which once lay between these two opposite shores 
was also low, and that it sank at a slow rate, say a 
few inches in a year, until a sunken bed was formed. 
Then the waters of the Atlantic rushed in and filled 
the hollow, which thus became a narrow, shallow 
sea ; and in this way the land we call Great Britain 
was cut off from the Continent and surrounded by 
water. In the same way, the ocean may have 



rushed into another hollow bed on the west, aad 8o 
made another sea, cutting off the isLand which we 
call Ireland. And how are all the small islands 
which cluster round the great ones to be ac- 
counted for ? Host likely these were at one time 
mountains^ rising round the ancient shore; and 
when the sea coyered the lowlands, the mountain 
tops remained above water, and now appear as 

Are you inclined to think it is a pity we should 
have been thus cut off from the Continent ? It is, 
on the whole, a good thing for us ; we Britons like 
to have our island home to ourselves, just as every 
English family likes to have a separate dwelling; 
while on the Continent it is usual for many fiEunilies 
to live in a single large house. Being thus divided 
from them by the sea, we need never be disturbed 
by the disputes of other nations. 

LEssov vm. 


It would be inconvenient for us, however, if we 
were cut off altogether from intercourse with foreign 
lands. British people are accustomed to make use 
of so many things which come from abroad that we 
should be badly off if the supply were stopped. For 
instance, what should we do without tea, coffee, and 
sugar, rice and treacle, or cotton to make our 


calico? Worse still, what should we do without 
bread 1 How sad it would be if there were not bread 
enough to be had for money to feed eyerybody in 
our swarming towns I You think, perhaps, it is only 
fruits^ and spices which will not flourish in our 
climate that we need to fetdi from abroad, but that 
wheat and rye, oats and barley, grow freely in the 
British Isles. But the fact is, there are a great 
many more people in Britain, in England especially^ 
than there is room to grow food for. If we were 
Bot a deyer, industrious people, able to make things 
which other nations are glad to have instead of com, 
we should be badly off. 

But we make cotton stuffs and woollen stuffs, and 
every kind of article made of iron, besides many 
other useful things ; and large countries, like parts 
of America and Bussia, which have room to grow 
more com than their people can eat» are glad enough 
to send us some of it in return for our manufactured 
goods, coal, and other things. 

Thus you see the British Isles depend a great deal 
upon this kind of exchange, which is called cammeree. 
As Great Britain is an island, it can only trade 
with the rest of the world by means of ships ; ships 
must carry out whatever British traders want to 
seU ; ships must bring in such things as they wish to 
buy. Now, it is really a great deal easier and cheaper 
to fetch and carry on the sea than on land : the sea 
belongs to everybody, so it is free ; while, if there 
were no water-way, it would be necessary to pay some 
foreign ruler for leave to pass through his country. 
Again, no rails need be laid down, nor roads kept in 


order, for the ships to go upon. That breakixig<-in 
of the ocean which made Britain an island pre- 
pared the way for her to become a great nation ; for 
the waters which divide her from all other lands 
are bat highways for her ships. Then, the British 
seamen are hardy and brave, often brought up within 
sound of the sea, and come of forefathers who lived 
aboard ship ; the blood of the hardy Norsemen — 
Sax<ms and Danes — runs in British veins. 

There is perhaps no other country in the world 
quite so well placed for carrying on wide traffic on 
the seas. Fix a globe in such a position that one 
half will show nearly all the land in the world, the 
other half nearly all the water; the map on the 
opposite page shows you these hemispheres of land and 
water. Notice how Britain lies — in the centre of 
the land hemisphere, with open sea-way to every 
country in the world that is not shut up in the 
middle of a continent Across the narrow seas are 
various countries of Europe ; to the west, across the 
broad Atlantic, lies America. A ship sailing south 
skirts the African coast. Bounding the point of 
Africa, she may either sail north to the countries 
of Southern Asia, or eastward to the great island 
of Australia. 

It is a happy thing, also, that the seas round 
Britain are always open, and neither frost-bound, 
so that ships cannot enter them, nor made dan* 
gerous by floating icebergs. This is due partly 
to her latUude^ her place in the north temperate 
zone ; but no other lands which lie between 50° and 
60° N. lat. have quite so pleasant a climate as 


Britain. One reason for this is that soft, moist 
winds blow from the south-west, across the ocean, and 
these winds make our winter days warmer, and our 
summer days cooler, than they would be if ours were 
an inland country. The influence of the warm Gulf 
Stream is also, as we have seen, among the causes 
which temper the ch'mate of Britain. 

In point of size, the British Isles, important as they 
are, fonn only a very small part of the vast British 
Empire, upon which " the sun never sets." To begin 
in the east, and go round with the sun, our sove- 
reign's dominions include the whole of Australia ; the 
great country of India and two or three small pos- 
sessions in Asia ; the countries at the southern end of 
Africa, and some settlements on the West Coast ; 
Gibraltar and some islands in the Mediterranean in 
Europe ; all the northern lands of North America, 
and some small possessions in South America; the 
large islands of New Zealand in the Pacific, and 
several important islands in the Atlantic. Thus 
we see there are British Possessions in each of the 
Continents, and in every region of the globe. 



The Seagull is a yacht, which, we propose, shall 
skim with white sail right round Great Britain ; shall 
circumnavigate that island, in fact, with ourselves on 
board. In this way we shall make sure if the maps 
are right, and if Great Britain is an island indeed. 




R A 



The first person we read of who made this coasting 
voyage was Julius Agricola^ a great general who 
did much to subdue Britain for the Bomans. It 
was all new to him ; he went round the island that 
he might see the country, for he could not learn all 
about it from books of geography, as we may. 

We shall start from Spithead, which is not a cape, 
as you might imagine, but is a broad, quiet harbour, 
where many ships may lie at anchor ; it is the eastern 
half of the channel which divides the Isle of Wight 
from Hampshire, and so it is sheltered by the island 
from the rough sea-winds. We stop a little in this 
harbour, or roadsteady as it is called, to look at the 
beautiful green island, the "garden of England," 
where the white houses nestle among green trees, 
and spreading branches overarch the lanes. . It is 
no wonder that Byde and Cowes and the other 
pretty towns of the island are generally full of 

Let us cross the water and enter Portsmouth 
Harbour, which is a large, still haven, with stately 
men-of-war lying at anchor. Portsmouth is what is 
C€dled a naval port — that is to say, the ships of the 
navy come here to be repaired after stormy voyages, 
or after fighting some enemy on the open sea. Here 
too, war-ships are built, and here they are supplied 
with beef and bread, and blankets, and whatever else 
is needed for a long voyage. 

Our <* gull " shoots forward, past Selsea Bill, past 
the low, shingly Sussex coast, where there are three 
or four warm, pleasant, bathing-places, of which 
Brighton is the gayest and most fashionable. Crowds 


of fishing-smacks swarm about us, all out for the 
mackerel fishing. They will be out all night, and 
early in th5 morning boatloads of beautifully marked, 
shining fish will be emptied for sale upon the beaches 
of the fishing towns. 

That great, white headland stretching out before 
us is Beachy Head, whose cliffs of white chalk rise 
600 feet from the sea. 

After passing a bit of low shore, we come again 
upon white cliffs— 

<< The white chalk oliffs of Dover.** 

That is Dover Castle upon the cliff, and yonder is a 
passenger-boat crossing to Calais^ for we are in the 
Strait of Dover. 

Bounding the point called the South Foreland — 
Fore-lsjid, because it comes forward, comes to the 
fore — we are careful to keep close to shore, and find 
ourselves in strangely still water. We are in the 
Doums, which' is another roadstead or harbour. 
But what shuts it in? We see land on the left, 
but nothing save open sea on the right. There is 
land on this side also, though we cannot see it ; — a 
high sandbank ten miles long rises nearly to the 
surface of the water, and shuts in these road» for the 
ships. These Goodwin Sands form a friendly haven 
for vessels within the Downs; but outside, the 
mariners dread the treacherous banks, for many a 
good ship has struck upon them. 

We pass the North Foreland, and turn towards a 
great opening on our left. There are busy towns on 
the shores, and much shipping is around us ; and the 



further we go up this opening, the more do we seem 
to be sailing through a forest of masts. We are going 
up with the tide, and at the same time a river is 
forcing itself down to the sea. We are in the broad 
estuary of the Thames, the chief of English rivers. 
The ships have all come to bring merchandise to 
London, the greatest city and the greatest port in the 
world ; or to carry away the goods which th^ London 
merchants send all over the globe. There are large 
docks — quiet pools, walled round — ^built on each side 
of the river to hold the ships. 



We sail out of the Thames, and northward, past the 
low, flat shores of the eastern counties. Again, we 
find ourselves amongst a host of brown-sailed fishing- 
smacks. We are in a herring fishery this time — 
the great Yarmouth fishery, and the silvery herring 
will be carried into this pleasant seaport^town, 
to be salted and dried and made into ^' Yarmouth 

Bounding the eastern shoulder of England, we 
find ourselves in the Wash, and into this opening 
four slow, dull rivers empty themselves — the Witham, 
the Welland, the Nen, and the Great Ouse. The 
Fens lie all round the Wash, and stretch far inland. 
These Fens are quite the lowest part of the eastern 


counties, and lie so very low that in some places the 
sea is only kept out by means of embankments and 
sea walls. 

To look at it on the map, one would think the 
Wash would be a capital place for ships, but it is 
full of shifting sandbanks, and is not at all safe. 

The Humber, the next large opening we enter, is 
also full of these dangerous sandbanks. It is the 
estuary of two rivers — the Trent, the great middle 
river of England, and the Ouse, which flows through 
Yorkshire. Upon its northern shore stands the large 
seaport town of Hull. A glance at the map of 
Europe will enable us to judge with what countries 
Hull trades. Across the North Sea, and through 
the narrow channels which lead into the Baltic, do 
her ships go, and from the countries round the Baltic 
they bring corn, timber, flax, tallow, and hides. 

No cape upon the east coast stands out to sea so 
boldly as Flamborough Head. A lighthouse rises 
from its cliffs of white chalk ; and upon these cliffs 
in ages long gone by the Danes kept up huge bon- 
fires to light their black ships over the stormy sea. 
Thus this cape came by its name, the headland of 
"the flame. 

As we sail northwards we pass the mouths' of the 
Tees, the Wear, and the Tyne, all full of shipping, 
because there are busy seaport towns upon each of 
these three rivers. The chief of these ports is New- 
castle on the Tyne. "Coal to Newcastle" people 
say when you give them more of what they have 
too much of already. He would be indeed a foolish 
merchant who sent coal to Newcastle ; for it stands 

D 2 


upon a wide coalfield, and sends out thousands of 
vessels every year, which carry Newcastle coal to 
London, to France, to the Baltic, and to the coun- 
tries round the Mediterranean. 

Passing many colliers^ we sail by the little Fam 
Islands, upon one of which Grace Darling lived, and 
by Holy Island, the home of holy men in days when 
much of Britain was pagan. You are wondering, 
perhaps, who Grace Darling was. She was a brave 
girl, whose father took care of the lighthouse on 
Fam Island, and who saved some shipwrecked 
mariners in a terrible storm at great risk of her 
own life. At last we come in sight of Berwick, the 
border town where England and Scotland meet. 

And now we have sailed up the whole of the 
eastern side of England. We have seen some 
dreary-looking sandy wastes here and there. We 
have passed a few busy seaports and some pleasant- 
looking bathing-places. Bat nearly everywhere, at 
a little distance from the shore, we have seen farm- 
lands — green meadows or pasture-fields, with cattle 
feeding in them; corn-fields, or turnip- or clover- 
fields. Farming is the chief work carried on in 
the eastern counties; and the land lies so low' 
nearly all along the coast that from the deck of 
our boat we are able to see a good way inland. We 
catch sight of many snug farm-houses in pleasant 
spots ; and we see the labourers abroad in the fields, 
and the scattered villages where these farm-labourers 

IE680F ZI. 
"N.B." people nsiiftlly put on letters addresaed to 
Edinburgh or Glasgow ; and in this case " NJB." 
means, not Nota Bene — " Take Notice " — bat " North 
Britain." Scotland ia North Britain, and South 
Britain consists of England and Wales. 

We still make steadily northwards, keeping as 
dose to the shore aa we can, in order to see if 


there is anything to mark the fact that we have 
left England behind and are coasting Scotland. 
Long ranges of rather bare rounded hills, with 
eheep feeding on the short tarf npon their slopes, 
stretch nearly to the coast. One mjige, the Lam- 
mermuir Hills, ends in St. Abb's Head, What is 



^ m n » Af M>f Mf 


that curious mass of rock rising like a sugar-loaf 
steep out of the sea? That is the Bass Bock, 
400 feet high, and so steep that only on one side 
is it possible to land upon it. And now we are in 
the broad, beautiful Firth of Forth. This name 
shows we are in another country ; there are no firths 
in Eugland, but you will find many on the map of 
Scotland. Firth (fiord) is the old Norse name for 
an estuary or opening ; and the Firth of Forth is 
the estuary of the river Forth. 

A sail up the Forth is full of interest ; there are 
pleasure-boats and fishing-smacks and a few mer- 
chantmen upon the waters, but not many of these 
last, for there are no good harbours in the Forth. 
Even Leith, the seaport of Edinburgh, cannot give 
comfortable quarters to the ships that ply her trade. 
We pass busy towns on either shore, and pleasant 
bathing-places, standing among trees and gardens; 
and we see the fisher-wives come down to the boats 
to get their stock of " caller herrin* " (fresh herring). 
In what a curious way they carry their fish 1 Those 
huge, deep baskets on their backs, supported by 
means of a leathern strap passed round their fore- 
beads, are quite new to us. 

We must land to see the beautiful city of Edin- 
burgh, the capital of Scotland. The old town and 
the new town are built upon two opposite hills, 
facing each other, and the valley between them is 
laid out in pleasant gardens. 

The tall, quaint old houses of the old town — eight 
or nine stories high sometimes — rise on the steep 
hill-side, street above street, in the strangest way. 


And at one end of this hill is the castle of Edin- 
burghy which looks so like the great rocks on which 
it is built that you might take it for part of the 
mountain pile. 

At the other end of the old town is the beautiful 
palace of Holyrood, the home of the Scottish kings 
when Scotland had its own sovereign : and not only 
to ancient Holyrood, but to half the houses in the old 
streets, strange tales of other days belong. 

Edinburgh is not a busy trading or manufacturing 
town like London ; it is quite small in comparison ; 
and perhaps the printing and publishing of books is 
the chief trade carried on there. 

Sailing out of the Forth, and up the North Sea, 
we are warned that there is danger ahead by the 
lighthouse which stands opposite to the mouth of the 
Tay. As it is high water, this lighthouse seems to 
rise sheer out of the sea ; but we know it must be 
built upon the Bell Bock, that famous Inchcape 
Bock to which belongs the story of the Abbot of 
Aberbrothok and his bell* 

We have not .time to go up the silver Tay, not even 
to see the seaport town of " bonnie Dundee." 

Continuing northwards, we pass a rock-bound 
coast with huge caverns in the cliffs in which are 
swarms of sea-birds ; and we row into one of these 
caverns with lighted torches, to the terror of the 
birds, which flap about us and scream in an alarming 
way. The Bullers of Buchan are famous arched 
rocks upon this coast. 

Before reaching Buchan-Ness, we should have 
stopped on our way to see Aberdeen, a seaport town 


at the mouth of the Dee, as its name might tell us, 
for Aher means river mouth. We may see ships 
being laden at its wharves with a heavy freight — 
pillars, slabs, fountains, and other objects made of 
polished granite. There are granite quarries near 
the town ; and much of this beautiful stone is 
brought here from the Cairngorm mountains also, 
to be poUshed in the famous granite works of 

Bounding the great eastern shoulder, a straighter 
shoulder than that of England, we go by a low 
straight coast towards the Moray Firth. If we enter 
this Firth, we may sail right through Scotland by 
the Caledonian Canal, which cuts the country in 
two ; but we have yet much to see before we make 
for the west. 

Northward still, up to Duncansby Head and 
across the boisterous Pentland Firth, we go, for we 
are bound for the Orkneys. How our little boat is 
tossed about in this stormy channel, and how thank- 
ful we are to near land ! There is not much to repay 
us for our rough voyage. We land upon Pomona, 
the largest of the islands, and from there cruise about 
among the dozen or so of larger islands which are 
inhabited. There are over sixty of these Orkney 
Isles altogether, but of these, some forty barren and 
desolate islets are left altogether to the sea-fowl and 
rabbits. Those which are inhabited are dreary 
enough, consisting of little but wide heather wastes, 
huge boulders, sandhills full of rabbit warrens, 
swamps, and lakes. Occasionally, in a sheltered spot, 
a patch of com is to be seen ; and there are many 


fishing villages on the shores. The people live upon 
fish, and trade with fish, and very fishy their villages 
smell. Cod-fish, lobsters, and herrings are sent hence 
to the London markets. 

A sail across a channel nearly fifty miles wide 
brings us to another group of which we know some- 
thing beforehand. We are familiar with the shaggy 
little Shetland ponies ; and every one has seen the 
fine, beautiful knitting of the Shetland women, in 
veils and shawls and other woollen garments. Is it 
our fancy, or are these islands really more rainy and 
misty and desolate, more swampy and rocky than the 
Orkneys ? Again we see rabbits disappearing in the 
sandhills; the islands swarm with them, aod the 
Shetlanders make a good deal by selling their skins. 
These are a larger group of islands than the Orkneys, 
and as many as forty are inhabited. Mainland is 
the largest. 

LESS017 xn. 


Look at the map and you will see that the Ocean 
shore is the western shore, for much of Western 
Scotland is washed, not by some narrow sea, but by 
the broad Atlantic itself. Did you ever see such a 
ragged and broken coast, bordered by a perfect 
fringe of islands ? There is one other country on the 
map of Europe with such another jagged edge — 
Norway, further to the north; and the shores of 
Norway, also, are ocean-washed. 

Western Scotland is fiill of mountain ranges which 
end close to the shore and between these ranges 
are long valleys np which the ocean tushes fillug 
them and thus we have the long deep "lochs ' 
which cut up tliiB coast 

Let us ronad Cape Wrath and sail down the 
western coast to explore some of these lochs We 
need not enter more than two or three for they are 
all much alike — narrow mountain glens with a floor 
of sea. We are impressed by the stillness and 

strangeness of the scene, the awful height of the 
cliffs, and the clear depths of the loch, which reflects 
every bush, almost every blade of grass. Tet there 
are sounds in the stillness, — the endless calls of the 
sesr-birds and the roar of the waves beyond the loch. 
Signs of life there are, too. Those white dots as big 
as mbshrooms are sheep which have straggled high 
up the cliffs in search of the scanty herlmge they 
yield. See I thete is one now making for " fresh 
fields and pastures sew." These mountain sheep 


become as nimble and snre-footed as goats. In 
another loch, not even a leaping goat disturbs the 
stillness ; so sheer and steep do its mountain walls 
rise from the sea that there is no foothold for the 
surest-footed creature. 

How is it that, being on the Atlantic, we do not 
see the sun set in the sea, but behind mountainous 
land which lies to the west ? Those are the heights 
of the Hebrides, the Western Isles, several of which 
stretch in a long row that is sometimes called Long 

We are in the channel called the '^ Minch/' and 
may either sail across to those Ovier Hebrides, of 
which Lewis is the largest, or we may keep close to 
the mainland and explore Skye, the largest of the 
Inner Hebrides. These islands are not like the 
rather flat and dreary groups to the north-east. 
Many of them, Skye especially, are wild and beauti- 
ful, with mountains, waterfalls, and lakes ; and many 
9ummer visitors come to fish in the lochs or to shoot 
over the moors. 

The islanders are busy enough, both in summer 
and winter; they fish, rear large herds of black 
cattle, and, in every house, they make enough 
cloth for their own clothes, and tables and benches 
for their use. 

We must visit lona, the Holy Island of Scotland, 
a bare little isle, where good missionaries lived and 
taught iu days when Scotland was a pagan land. 

Stafia, too, we must see, for the sake of its famous 
cavern, which looks as if cunning workmen had built 
its walls of countless regular columns of polished 


stone. It is about seveDty yards loDg, and is one of 
the most remarkable cayems in the world. 

We are anxious to get into the Firth of Clyde, 
and as there is a shorter way, we shall not round the 
curious long tongue of land called the Mull of 
Gantyre. We must be content to miss Jura, and 
Islay, the " Queen of the Hebrides." A canal has 
been cut across the top of the long " Mull," through 
which we go, and soon find ourselves in the lovely 
Firth of Clyde. It is a broad, beautiful estuary, 
with islands rising out of it ; its banks are high and 
wooded ; and handsome houses, and pleasant bright 
watering-places stand among the trees. As we sail 
up the river we leave trees and pleasure places 
behind and find ourselves between long lines of 
building yards, where there are vessels in every stage 
of progress. Higher still, and we are among wharves 
full of sea-going ships, and presently we arrive at 
the large and busy seaport of Glasgow, the busiest 
town in Scotland. 

Sailing down the narrow North Channel which 
divides Scotland from Ireland, we come out so close 
to the Isle of Man that we may as well run across. 
It is 30 miles long, and has two or three pleasant 
bathiug-places on its shores. There is a range of 
hills in the middle of the island. The people are 
called Manx, and had formerly a strange language of 
their own. The herring fishery occupies many of 
the inhabitants, and others work in the lead mines 
and slate quarries of the island. One odd thing 
that everybody knows about the Isle of Man is that 
the Manx cats have no tails 


We have not time to explore the north-west coast 
of England, nor even to see the red headland of St. 
Bees. We make direct for Liverpool, the great seia- 
port of the west, and one of the most famous in the 
world. What crowds of ships there are in its long 
line of docks ! — ships from every part of the world- 
Many of these have come from America with cargoes 
of cotton, for Liverpool is the port to which all the 
raw cotton is brought for our great Lancashire 

LESS017 xni. 


Wales is ** the Principality " now, because the eldest 
son of the English sovereign is Prince of Wales. At 
one time Wales had a prince of its own who spoke 
the native Welsh language. But these wild Welsh 
princes and their wilder people were troublesome 
neighbours to the English. They were constantly 
breaking over the border, and carrying off crops and 

To put an end to this state of things the English 
king, Edward I., came with an army, conquered 
Wales, and had the last of the Welsh princes put to 
death at Shrewsbury. Most likely you know what 
followed ; how the Welsh were so sad to lose their 
chief that the king promised them another native 
prince who could not speak a word of English, 
and brought out his own little baby son, born in 
Carnarvon Castle, at least so the story goes. 


English is spoken in some of the towns now, but 
the country people understand only their native 
tongue. Follow a group of market-women as they 
trot along the road, knitting in hand and chattering 
fast in Welsh, and you feel you are really in a foreign 
country; and quite foreign these women look in 
their tall beaver hats, something like the tall hats 
worn by men in England, and their handsome 

The word " Wales " means ** foreign," land of the 
foreigners. This name was given to the country by 
the Saxons who conquered England, because they 
looked on the people of Wales as foreigners. But, 
in fact, the Welsh should have been a great deal 
more at home in England than these Saxon con- 
querors, for they were the old British people to 
whom all Britain once belonged. They were driven 
westward to take shelter in this mountain land by 
these strangers from over the sea; and there they 
have remained ever since. 

To turn them out of Wales was too hard a task 
for any English king; for the country is full of 
mountains dnd ravines and wild hiding-places, where 
the natives were safe, because no English array could 
find them out. 

Now, however, Wales is quite a part of England, 
and numbers of English people go every year to spy 
out these secret hiding-places. For many parts of 
this mountain country are exceedingly beautiful, and 
there is no pleasanter way of spending a summer 
holiday than in exploring the lovely valleys and 
majestic mountains of North Wales. 


Tourists generally enter Wales by way of the 
city of Chester ; we may follow the Dee valley as 
far as the lovely Vale of Llangollen, or we may go 
by the north coast, where there is much to be seen. 
First, we stop at Holywell, a rather large and busy 
town, to see the well of Saint Winifred. This is a 
wonderful spring which is always pouring out an 
immense stream of water ; and for centuries it was 
believed that whoever drank of this water would be 
cured of whatever disease be had. Saint Winifred 
was a holy maiden whose head was struck off by a 
cruel knight; and where the head fell, says the 
legend, this beautiful spring gushed out ; wherefore 
it was a holy well with power to work miraculous 
cures. But people are too wise nowadays to believe 
these pretty legends. 

We walk out upon Great Orme's Head and are 
nearly blown away by the strong wind ; and we 
go over the old castle of Conway; and then go 
on to Bangor, to see the huge Penrhyn slate 
quarries, in which hundreds of men swarm like 
so many ants. From Bangor, .we cross the Menai 
Bridge, a wonderful suspension bridge hung so high 
above the Menai Straits that the largest ships cail 
pass full-sail underneath. Or we may get by rail 
into the island of Anglesea, across the famous 
Britannia Bridge. It was found necessary to make 
this railway bridge, which is more than a quarter of 
a mile long, because many persons go from Chester to 
Anglesea, in order to take the Dublin packet from 
Holyhead. These used to be ferried ever to the 
island ; but in stormy weather no boat could cross 


the strait, and the passengers ran the risk of missing 
the steamboat which should take them to Ireland. 
We see the copper-mines of Anglesea, and return by 
one of the bridges, for we wish to get to Carnarvon, 
that we may go over the castle where the first English 
Prince of Wales was bom. 

And now we are near one of the great sights of 
North Wales, the mighty Snowdon, the monarch of 
British mountains ; or, at any rate, the highest south 
of the Clyde (3590 feet). There he stands, with his 
three great summits of nearly equalheight, surrounded 
by other lofty mountains, as a king by his noble 
courtiers. Indeed, nearly the whole of Wales is full 
of mountains : towering heights, and deep glens, and 
lovely vales, and waterfalls, meet us everywhere. 

Going almost due south from Snowdon, through 
the beautiful mountainous county of Merioneth, we 
reach Cader Idris, another of the giants of the land. 
And, further south, almost in a line with the other 
two, is the huge mass of Plynlimmon, which, like 
Snowdon, has three summits. We must climb this 
mountain and search in its bosom for the source ot 
the Severn, the queen of our English rivers. 

A good deal of Central Wales, though mountainous, 
is not beautiful : it is a dreaiy waste of craggy 
height and moor and marsh. And the black mountains 
of South Wales receive their name from the dark and 
gloomy appearance they present — especially when 
the heather is not in bloom. 

There is a very large coalfield in South Wales, and 
at Swansea there are great smelting works to which 
the copper ore of Cornwall is sent to be smelted, that 


50 THE WSSHQIM hobn. 

is, to have the copper melted^ and so separated firoin 
the earth it is mixed with. 

We have not had time to visit Dolgelly and 
Welshpool and the other flannel-making towns of 
North Wales. Nor can we see St. David's Head, 
nor Milford Haven, the fine harbour in Pembroke- 



Just because the coast of this strangely shaped 
horn is the most beautiful and interesting part of our 
English seaboard, we must not linger now to explore 
it. This western horn begins at the mouth of the 
Severn and stretches westward to the Land's End, 
pushing boldly forth into the stormy ocean, and 
nearly every mile of the way has some beauty or 

We start from Bristol, the second great seaport of 
the west, in whose harbour are crowded ships from 
the south and east, ships from the warm countries 
round the Mediterranean, and ships from Ireland ; 
and these have brought in stores of good things, 
dried fruits and wine-, butter and bacon. On we go, 
past the lovely cliff-coasts of North Devon, where 
shrubs and flowering plants grow down to the water's 
edge. The towns and villages are perched upon the 
high cliffs, or nestle in suug green valleys with 
rocky walls. The Cornish coast is more rugged 
than that of Devon, but nothing can be more 


beautifal tliaa the little porth$, oi iulets where the 
broken cliffs let in the sea. 

As we a^l towards the Land's 'Eai, we can see the 
Cornish heights swelling, mgged and bare, all through 
the middle of the peninsula. Barren as they look, we 
know that these hills and moors are really rich ; that 
thousands of miners are constantly at work, digging 
out the veins of tin and copper ore which run ander 
this rough crust 

How the people are swarming upon the beach t 
and what are those boats about ? We are below the 
town of St. Ives, and the pilchards are coming ; we 

can see the great shoal darkening the waters in the 
distance. The fishers are letting out the huge mine 
net, with which they catch millions in a single taking. 
And now we are at the Xjand's End itself^a good name 
B 2 


for this lofty grauite table, round which the furious 
ocean dashes and roars ! LanJCs End indeed, for 
between it and far distant America is nothing but 
the wide Atlantic waters. 

Past Mount's Bay, and round to the Lizard we go ; 
and here we must see the caves, the Parlour and the 
Drawing-room, whose walls are of a beautiful striped 
rock of various colours. 

We pass the Eddystone, and wonder how it was 
possible to build a lighthouse so far out to sea. As 
a storm is rising, we make for Plymouth Sound ; for 
once within the Breakwater, we know we are safe. 
This huge stone wall, rising from the sea-bottom, 
keeps out the breakers, and the waters within the 
Sound are still as a lake. Plymouth is a busy town, 
being a large naval port to which the ships of the 
navy come and go. There is a famous dockyard 
here where these ships are built or repaired and 
supplied with everything necessary for a long voyage. 

We must not stop to look at the beautiful combes 
of South Devon; these are valleys between hill 
ranges, where the villages nestle amongst apple 
orchards. Nor can we go up the Exe, to see the 
city of Exeter, the " Queen of the West." As we 
pass the Dorset coast, we notice Portland Point, a 
curious long narrow tongue of land which stretches 
far into the sea. Presently, we are once more in 
Spithead, the spot we started from ; and we Tcnow 
that Great Britain is an island, because we have 
sailed round it. 




John O'Gboat built himself a honse on the beach 
near Duncansby Head. From that point to Land's 
End is the greatest length of Great Britain, 600 
miles ; a distance which it would take a man five 
weeks to walk at the rate of twenty miles a day. 

The first part of the journey, as far as Glenmore, 
is through the Highlands. Look at the map, and 
you will see how few towns are marked in this 
district, and how many mountains, rivers, and lakes. 
It is a huge, high tableland, a heather waste, with 
bogs and granite boulders ; where high, solitary 
mountains rise, rugged and bare, above the rest, 
such as Ben More, Ben Wyvis, Ben Attow, all over 
3000 feet. " Ben " is the Gaelic word for mountain. 
This rugged land is thinly inhabited by a Gaelic 
people, and the few Highlanders we meet wear the 
short petticoat, or kilt, speak only in Gaelic, and, if 
they are musical, play upon the bagpipes. 

What are their occupations ? Many of them look 
after the mountain sheep and herds of black cattle 
you may see trying to gather a scanty living in 
these craggy pastures. 

This district is far too mountainous and barren to 
be cultivated, and, indeed, hardly yields food for the 
cattle; so these and the sheep are brought in due 
time to various fairs by the Highland drovers, aided 
by their clever dogs. There they are bought by 
Lowland farmers, and are driven either to the Scotch 


Lowlands or to rich English pastures to be fattened 
for the market. The trysts of Falkirk are the most 
famous of these cattle fairs. 

The Highlanders have another occupation. Every 
autumn brings many strangers to these high moor- 
lands, who corae to " stalk " the red deer, to shoot 
grouse, or to fish for salmon or trout in the lakes 
and streams ; and to these gentlemen many of the 
natives hire themselves out as guides and servants. 

Glenmore, the long, narrow valley or ** dip " which 
goes across the country from Loch Linnhe to the 
Moray Firth, has at the bottom of it a line of lakes, 
long and narrow like itself. These have been joined 
together by cuttings made to hold water; so that 
a long waterway, which is called the Caledonian 
Canal, passes right through Scotland. Glenmore, 
with its lakes, is only an example of the countless 
long narrow glens with long narrow lakes which cut 
up the whole of these northern Highlands. 

To the south of Glenmore the ground rises again, 
and we are once more in the Highlands. Here, 
a wide-spreading mountain chain, 100 miles long, 
runs across the country. This is the Grampian 
range, which has the highest mountains, not only in 
Scotland, but in Great Britain, namely, Ben Nevis 
and Ben Macdhui, both over. 4000 feet high ; and 
great hoary giants they are, which wear a snow cap 
half the year, and bury their heads in the clouds. 

Ben Ledi and Ben Lomond are not so high, but 
they attract more visitors ; for these mountains rise 
where the barren highlands border on the green and 
fertile lowlands. Where tliisis the case the country 


is exceedingly beautiful ; and many yisitors oome 
yearly to see the Tro8a>eh8 — a wooded ravine and 
mountain pass which opens out upon lovely lakes 
with towering mountains round them. There is 
Loch Katrine, with " fair Ellen's isle," and, further 
on, Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Britain, with 
wooded islands upon its bosom. 

Now we enter the Lowlands — ^the broad valleys of 
the Forth and Clyde ; this is a green and pleasant 
country, and only low as compared with the High- 
lands we have just left. From the rather steep hill 
on which Stirling Castle stands we have a delightful 
view of the plains, where we see green pasture-fields, 
wide farms, and sparkling streams. The '^ Links of 
Forth " are the most curious sight ; the river doubles 
and turns again and again in its green valley, so that 
it looks like the links of a chain. This part of 
Scotland is a great farming district; perhaps no- 
where in the world is land better farmed than here, 
especially in the eastern counties, where potatoes 
are grown in great quantities for the London 
market. The Scots themselves prefer oatmeal 
porridge and oat-cake, and oats are the principal 
com crop. 

In this part of Scotland, too, lie the coal-fields, 
and here are the manufacturing .towns : Paisley and 
Kenfrew, famous for shawls and woollen goods; 
Carron, near Falkirk, and Airdrie, for ironworks; 
Grlasgow, for cotton, woollen, and other manu- 
&cture8; Dundee and Dunfermline, further north, 
for linen ; Stirling and Galashiels, for Scotch tweedy 
and shawls. 


Southern Scotland is another ^^ Highlands/' though 
less lofty and rugged than the northern. It is 
crossed by several ranges of hills — ^the Cheviots, 
which divide Scotland from England, the Lowthers, 
the Ochils, and others. These ranges are all very 
much alike, consisting of smooth, grassy hills, with- 
out any particular beauty, whereon many sheep are 
fed. The river valleys or " dales " between these 
are, however, often very beautiful. 

The Lowland Scotch are like the English in every 
way; they speak the same language and have 
much the same national character, because, like the 
English, they are descended from Saxon tribes who 
settled north as well as south of the Tweed. These 
drove the ancient people of Scotland to take refuge 
among the northern mountains, just as the Saxons 
who took England drove the Britons into Wales. 
For this reason the Highlanders still speak the old 
Gaelic tongue, and are a distinct people in their 
customs and dress, as well as in their language. 

For nearly three centuries Scotland has been 
under the rule of the same king or queen as Eng- 
land, because it so happened that when the English 
Queen Elizabeth died, the King of Scotland was her 
nearest relative, and was therefore the next heir to 
the English throne. Before that time, when Scot- 
land had a king of its own, the two countries were 
seldom at peace. The land on each side of the 
Cheviots was called "the Border," and the Scotch 
and English " Borderers " made continual war upon 
one another. 





Having crossed the Cheviots, we may now try to get 
a " bird's-eye view " of England. 

The great moorland ridge, called the Pennine 
chain, which runs through ^Northern England as &r 
as Derbyshire, divides the three northern counties on 
the estst from the three on the west. These moors 
are wild heather wastes, over which it is not easy to 
tramp ; and there are deep ravines among the rocks, 
and huge crags and boulders scattered about, and 
wide morasses, like sponges filled with water, into 
which one might easily sink. From these do the 
bonny rivers which flow down the slope on either 
side gather their waters. No river crosses the 
moors, because the Pennine chain is the water- 
partinff of Northern England, that is, it divides the 
rivers which flow down one slope from those which 
flow down the other. 

Close under the hills, and stretching from Leeds 
to Nottingham, is a Wide coal-field, and upon this 
coal-field are built many busy towns engaged in a 
great manufacture for which coal is needed. These 
are the clothing towns, Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, 
Huddersfield, and others, where wool is spun and 
woven into cloths and stufis; and the wool is 
cleansed in the pretty rivers, whose waters are 
further blackened with dye-stuffs. 

Sheffield is another busy town upon the Yorkshire 


coal-field ; it is famous all over the world for its knives 
and other edge-tools. On the Lancashire side of the 
hills there is another coal-field ; and upon this, also, 
are some of the largest and busiest towns in England, 
which bristle all over with tall mill-chimneys. 

This district is the seat of the great cotton 
manufacture, of which Manchester, the largest town 
in England after London, is the centre. Preston, 
Bolton, Blackburn, Bury, Wigan, and other towns 
are engaged in making the cotton cloths which 
English ships carry all over the world. 

On the eastern side, the moors slope down to the 
broad valley of the Ouse, which is called the Vale 
of York; it is well covered with cornfields and 
pasture-fields, farms and villages, and is the largest 
valley in England. The ancient city of York, which 
contains the most stately and beautiful cathedral in 
the country, stands upon the Ouse. 

The Pennine Mountains are grand and rugged^ 
but they are less famous for their beauty than are 
the Cumbrian Group, which fill much of the counties 
of Cumberland and Westmorland with rugged fells 
and towering peaks. Three of these, Helvellyn, 
Skiddaw, and Scafell, are over 3000 feet in height, 
and are the highest mountains in England. These 
mountains do not run in a line, but are gathered 
together, one great ridge swelling up behind another ; 
and between the ridges are. lovely valleys, and at the 
bottom of many of the valleys lie still, blue lakes. 

We must not linger in this beautiful Lake Distrief ; 
nor must we stop at the Peak^ the name which is 
given to the rugged and beautiful mountain country 


in which the moors of the Pennine chain end. Past 
the silk-mills of Derby town and over the Trent 
riyer, we hasten onwards to Bardon Hill, in Leicester- 
shire. It is quite a low hill, which does not rise 
much higher from the ground than a church steeple ; 
but it is well worth climbing, because from its 
summit about a quarter of England may be seen. 
This must be a very flat part of the country, you 
will say, to be seen from so low a hill. It is true ; 
the middle of England is a wide plain, though we 
must not picture it to ourselves as perfectly flat ; 
pleasant uplands with clumps of trees rise every- 
where excepting in the east. There, round the 
Wash, and stretching far inland, are the low fen- 
lands, from which the river waters can hardly be 
carried away, and the sea can hardly be kept out. 

But we shall see all this from our hill. To the 
west of us the view is cut off by a thick smoke- 
cloud. This cloud hangs over the " Black Country," 
so called because a great industry is carried on there 
which blackens trees, and buildings, and the very 
air. South Staffordshire and North Warwickshire 
lie under this smoke-cloud ; below the surface there 
is a wide coal-field, where many pitmen labour ; and, 
above ground, there are many blast-furnaces belching 
out smoke and flame, and large furnaces lit up by 
the glare of red-hot metal, and noisy with the 
dang of many hammers. These are the great iron- 
works of England, where machines and tools, bed- 
steads, grates, gates, and all kinds of iron articles 
are manufactured. Iron lies under the surface here 
along with the coal which is necessary to work it. 


Most of the labouring men are worberB in iron ; and 
the towns, Wolverhampton, Bilston, Dudley, and 
some others, produce iron goods. Birmingham is 
the largest and most famous of these towns ; it is a 

place where many curious and useful manufactures 
are carried on — pins, pens, buttons, bolts, and other 
things small and great, from a screw to a huge 
engine, are made here. 

We can discern another smoke-cloud to the north 
of this; it must lie oyer North StaObrdshire, where, 
we know, are the Potteries. Most of the earthen- 
ware used in England, as well as a great deal which 
is sent abroad, is manufactured in Burslem, Stoke, 


and the long line of towns and Tillages connected 
with them. The Potteries stand upon another coal- 
field, great fires being required to bake the potter's 




If it were not for this smoke-cloud, we might get a 
glimpse of the flat Cheshire plain, where we should 
see green pastures everywhere, with many cows at 
grass, from whose milk the famous Cheshire cheese 
is made. Under part of Cheshire lies, not coal, as 
in the adjoining county, but a wide field of salt, 
which miners are employed to dig from the earth. 

What is that green dip we notice in the land, which, 
as it bends to the north, becomes a wide valley, with 
gleamiug water at the bottom ? That is the valley 
of the Trent, the great river of middle England, on 
its way to the mouth of the Humber. We may 
distinguish the towers of Nottingham Castle, which 
stands upon the Trent; and a little to the north- 
east, away from the river, we can discern the more 
distant towers belonging to the beautiful cathedral 
of Lincoln, which stands upon a hill ; from this hill 
we might overlook a great deal of the flat, farming 
county of Lincolnshire. Many chimneys, you will 
notice, rise to the north of us, in the direction of 
the county of Nottingham, as well as in Leicester- 
shire itself. These are the chimneys of the ** mills " 


where stockings and lace are made. Nottingham 
and Leicester are both busy manufactaring towns. 

As we turn to the east and the south we may bid 
farewell to mill-chimneys and smoke. The manu- 
factures and mines belong to the north and west of 
England ; the eastern and south-eastern counties are 
all laid out in wide farms. Yellow fields and green 
fields with many cattle meet the eye eyerywhere; 
there are fields of wheat and barley, of clover and 
grass, of potatoes, turnips, and beans — food for men 
and food for cattle ; for to produce food seems to be 
the business of these pleasant farming counties. 

We cannot see far to the south-west, because hills 
break the view. Let us go across country to the 
Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, and from these 
we shall be able to see the beautiful valley of the 
Severn, the great river of the west. This is a very 
pretty part of England; the four counties in the 
Severn valley are hilly and woody, and are full of 
apple and pear orchards ; cider and perry are made 
from the fruit. Famous cheese is made in G-louces- 
tershire, which is what is called a dairy county, 
that is, many cows are kept there for the sake of 
their milk, which is made into butter or cheese. 
A good many mill-chimneys may be counted in 
Gloucestershire, and in the two counties to the 
south of it, for the well-known west-country hraad- 
doth is made in Stroud, Frome, Bradford, and a 
few other places. 

The Thames, the most famous of all British rivers, 
rises in these Cotswold Hills. We cannot choose a 
better spot from which to see its valley than the 
^owers of Windsor Castle, the Queen's palace. The 


Castle is built upon a '' princely brow '' overhanging 
the river, and from the Keep the greater part of thir- 
teen counties may be seen. These are, for the most 
part, pleasant counties, green and woody, with fertile 
fields, farms, and villages ; and they contain many of 
the beautiful dwellings of the nobility. 

As we have already spoken of the strangely shaped 
peninsula which ends in the Land's End, we have 
only now to see the "chalk" counties. All the 
south-eastern shires, from Wilts to Kent, are com- 
posed, for the most part, of chalk; dig below the 
surface soil anywhere, and white chalk is the rock 
you come to. This chalk country begins with 
Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, and from there three 
or four long ranges of low rounded chalk hills 
branch out. The most important of these are the 
North and South Downs, in Surrey and Sussex, 
upon which many sheep are fed, for the hills are 
covered with rich green turf, delightful to walk 
upon and very good to eat, at least, so the sheep 
would consider. These south-eastern counties are 
among the farming shires. Kent is famous for its 
great cherry-orchards and its hop -grounds. 



PART rv. 

We who live in this pleasant and peaceable land do 
not think it strange that farmers should live in lonely 
country houses where there are neither policemen 


Dor soldiers to take care of them, and yet should 
drive their cattle afield, and raise their crops, as if 
they had no fear. But it is a thing to be proud of 
aud thankful for that England is governed by wise 
laws well carried out; and this is why Euglish 
people, whether in town or country, have not often 
cause to be uneasy about the safety of their property. 
These laws by which England is governed have 
been hundreds of years in making, yet new ones 
are added from year to year, as they are wanted. 

The gentlemen who help to make the laws are 
called Members of Parliament Every large town 
and every county chooses two or more "Members" 
to oend up to the great Parliament Houses at West- 

Hocasg or pahluheht. 

minster. These meet to talk matters over in one 
hall or " House," called the House of Commons. 
All the great noblemen in the land meet in another 
hall in the same building, which is called the House 
of Lords. Before any new law comee into force the 
greater part of the " Commons" must agree to it, 

FBOK JOHN o'oBOAt's T6 LAND's END. 65 

and the greater part of the ** Lords," and, last of 
all, the Queen must give her consent. Of course 
this leads to a great deal of talking, and the word 
•* Parliament " means ** talking"; the Houses of 
Parliament are the Talking Houses. Thus Great 
Britain is governed not by the Sovereign alone, but 
by the Sovereign, the Lords, and the Commons, who 
are all concerned in the making of laws. 

We must now say something of the English 
people, to whom this pleasant, fertile land belongs. 
You know that many English persons have fair 
skins, blue eyes, and light hair; but perhaps youx 
do not know that this sort of complexion comes 
from a brave seafaring people who conquered 
Britain some twelve or thirteen centuries ago. 
These were the Saxons, who came from a land on 
the other side of the North Sea, a spot near the 
river Elbe. They conquered the country from 
the Britons, a people who were not strong enough 
to keep it for themselves, and were therefore driven 
into out-of-the-way comers, among the hills of Corn- 
wall and Wales, for instance, while the Saxons took 
the best of the land for themselves. It was named 
England after the Angles, a tribe allied to the Saxons, 
and who took part in the conquest. From these 
northern warriors we get some of our best national 
qualities ; they were a brave, truth-telling people, 
who liked to work on steadily at whatever they 
took in hand until it was finished. 

All English persons have not fair complexions, 
because we are a mioRed race. Soon the Danes, 
another race of northern warriors, very like the 



Saxons, came for a share of the prize their neigh-* 
hours had won. They also succeeded in conquer- 
ing England, and settled along the eastern shores. 
Later still, William the Conqueror came with his 
Norman followers and won this country for himself 
in the battle of Hastings, 1066, after which many 
Normans came to live in England. Thus you see it 
is very difficult to tell whether an Englishman is 
descended from Normans, Saxons, Danes, or Britons, 
or even from Bomans. The Saxons were never 
driven out by new invaders, and because they were 
the most numerous, and proved in the end the 
strongest people, we think of the EngHsh nation as 
descended chiefly from them.. 

Though each of the invading nations added new 
words to the stock, it is to the Saxons chiefly we 
owe the noble and beautiful English language. 
English is spoken all over the country, but seyeral 
counties have curious dialects, which strangers find 
it difficult to understand. These differences of 
speech are, however, dying away, because people 
travel about a good deal from county to county 
now, and thus they forget the dialect of the 
district where they were bom. People go about 
more now than formerly because it is easy to get 
from one end o£ England to the other; the whole 
country is covered with a network of railways, 
and but few English villages are more than five 
miles distant from a railway station. Nine main, 
or principal, lines reach out like long arms from 
London to the most distant parts of the country; 
and besides these there are endless branch lines, 


which coimect scattered towns aad yillages with 
the main lines. 

It is possible ta reach the North of England^ New* 
castle, or Carlisle, by three of these main lines,— the 
London and NovihrWestem^ the Gh'eai Northern, and 
the Midlands each line taking, as its name shows^ a 
somewhat different course. 

To reach the towns of Devon and Cornwall, we 
journey by the Oreat Western; while the OrecU 
Eastern would take us to the towns of the eastern 
counties, Norwich, Yarmouth, Cambridge, &c. The 
destinationa of the London, Ohafkami, and Dover, and 
the London, Brighton, wnd South Goast lines are 
evident from their names; as are also the direc- 
tions of the SoiiihrWestem and the SotUh-Easbm 

We are apt to think most of the convenience of 
railwap for passengers, but perhaps their most im* 
portant use i& to bear goods to the ports from which 
they are shipped for foreign lands, or to the places 
at home where they may be wanted ; and no doubt 
you have often noticed long " good& trains " laden, 
with cattle or coal, iron, wool, or whatever the nmgh?^ 
bourhood produces. 

All goods do not, however, reach their destiha^- 
tion by rail ; it is cheaper to carry certaia heavy 
articles by water, in baizes drawn, by horses,, and for 
this purpose the numerous navigable rivers which 
England possesses are made use^ of.. Bivers are 
navigable when their w<aters^ ace deep and their beds 
are even, so that boats may glide smoothly along. 
Before railways were invented,, it was found that 


snch waterways were wanted in many places where 
there were no natural rivers deep enough to carry 
barges. Therefore many canals were made, that is^ 
artificial channels connected with the rivers and filled 
with water from them ; and by means of these, boats 
pass from one river to another, and thus carry goods 
from distant towns to ports at the mouths of the 

Then, a good road leads to almost every spot in the 
country to which people are likely to journey for 
business or pleasure ; so that the means of communi- 
cation by road, railway, river, and canal, are excellent 
throughout England, no part of which is shut off 
from intercourse with the rest because there is no 
means of getting to it. 

More Ihan haK the people of England live in 
towns because in them great manufactures are 
carried on which afford work and wages to large 
numbers of people collected together in one spot. 
Thus, the clothing towns and the cotton and iron- 
working towns have a large population ; so have the 
sisaports, because in them also many persons can find 
employment ; while London, which is both a great 
seaport and the seat of many manufactures, has a 
population of three and a half millions, as many in- 
habitants as are contained in the whole of Scotland ! 
England and Wales together have a population of 
about 25 millions, and if these were evenly divided 
all over the country, there would be 340 persons to 
every square mile of land. But the farming districts 
do not contain nearly so many people in proportion 
to their size as do those parts of the country where 


there are many towns ; while waste land and regions 
of moor and mountain have yery few inhabitants 



The " Emerald Isle " is the most westerly of the 
British Isles. It owes this pretty and fetnciful title 
to the fact that the grass is always green, or, at any 
rate> it has seldom the parched and brown look of 
English grass in a dry season. Ireland has always 
plenty of rain, because the west winds which blow off 
the Atlantic are full of watery vapour, which comes 
down in frequent showers; and these cause the 
verdant appearance for which the country is famous. 
. For the same reason, more rain falls in the western 
counties of England than in the eastern; and 
because moist air never becomes quite so cold as 
dry air, Ireland, and the western counties of 
England, are, on the whole, warmer than the eastern 

As a moist soil is good for grass, there cure many 
pasture fields all over the country, and great numbers 
of cattle are fed ; much of the butter made from 
their milk is exported to England. There is not 
much com grown, partly because the soil is less 
suitable for corn tlum for grass ; and partly because 
land must be carefully manured, and much labour and 
money must be spent upon it in various ways to 
make it produce good com crops, — an outlay which 


the Irish peasant farmers are too poor to afford 
Potatoes, however, are largely grown, and form the 
chief food of the people ; failures in this crop have 
often been followed by frightful famines. 

So much has Ireland suffered in this and other ways 
of late, that more than a third of her people have 
emigrated — dearly as they love their native land — to 
find work and wages in America or in Australia. 

Oats are more largely grown than any other kind 
of com, and, in the northern counties especially, oat- 
meal porridge is a good deal eaten. 

You would think that because things often go 
badly with them, the Irish must be a sad and gloomy 
people ; but, on the contrary, they are light-hearted 
and full of fun and jokes, excepting when trouble is 
pressing upon them. They are not a Saxon people 
like the English, but are OeUs^ allied to the ancient 
Britons and to the Welsh of the present day. Most 
of the people speak English, however, for Ireland 
has belonged to England for about seven centuries. 

The people of Ulster, the northern province of 
Ireland, are partly of Saxon descent. King James I. 
of England settled a colony of Lowland Scots here, 
from whom many of the present inhabitants are de- 
scended; and they have made this north-eastern 
comer the richest and most prosperous part of the 
island. They brought with them, from their Scotch 
homes, the art of making linen, and this is still the 
most important manufacture of Ireland. There are 
large fields of the flax plant in these northern coun- 
ties ; it is grown for the fibres of the stalk, of which, 
after much steeping in water and various other 


processes^ linen is made. The peasants may be seen 
at work in many of the cottages weaving linen in 
small hand-looms ; they grow the flax themselves and 
prepare the fibres, and their wives and daughters spin 
the yam. But most of the linen is made in the towns, 
from which rise tall mill-chimneys like those in the 
English cotton towns. Belfast and Drogheda are the 
most important linen-making places. Belfast is a 
large and busy seaport with a good h^rbouri where 
cotton as well as linen is manufactured. 



PART n. 

The cliffs on the coast of Antrim — the county in 
which Belfast is situated — are very remarkable. 
They are made of a rock called basalt^ which is dark 
and hardy and heavy as iron ; and these hard rocks 
have been worn by the waves into columns that look 
as if they had been carved by human hands. The 
cliffs of Fair Head are 600 feet high ; but the great 
wonder of this coast is the Giant's Causeway. This 
curious pier stretches for a thousand feet into the sea, 
and is made of many five- or six-sided columns, packed 
close together, fitting in with one another perfectly, 
and more even and regular than man could make 

Lough Neagh, in Antrim, is the largest lake in 
Ireland, and, indeed, in the British Isles ; it has the 
curious property of petrifying^ or gradually coating 


over with stony substancey whatever is thrown 
into it. 

Ireland has a good many lakes, which are called 
loughs here, while in Scotland they are termed loehs. 
There are three large loughs, Allen, Bee, and Dearg^ 
in the course of the Shannon, which is the largest of 
the Irish rivers. The seaport town of Limerick 
stands at its mouth. 

The beautiful lake country of Ireland, which is 
a little like our English lake district in Cumberland 
and Westmorland, is in county Kerry, at the south* 
west comer of the island. Here are the three 
famous lakes of Killamey, on whose wooded banks 
the arbutus grows freely ; the lakes are studded with 
fairy isles, and are hemmed in by mountains, in some 
places rugged and awful, in others clothed with trees 
and grass. The other two counties of Ireland which 
are remarkable for their scenery are Galway, in the 
west, which is wild and much broken into by the sea ; 
and Wicklow on the east, which has hills and lovely 
river valleys. The Vale of Avoca is &mous in song. 

You wiU notice that these three picturesque coun* 
ties — that is, counties where hill, valley, and water 
make pictures pleasant to the eye — are all upon the 

Carry your eye round the map of Ireland, and you 
will see there are various other mountain ranges near 
the coast ; you can count six or more distinct chains, 
while, running inland, there are only the Slieve Bloom 
Mountains, which reach as far as King's County. 
None of these mountain ranges are high, and they are 
usually covered to the top with grass, upon which 


sheep and cattle feed. There are a great many goats 
also in the hilly districts, which are much valued for 
their milk. 

The middle of Ireland is a wide plain ; it is rather 
high and in some places hilly, and yet it consists for 
the most part of soaking hogs which cover more than 
a third part of the country. They form a dreary 
waste which, in many places, it is not safe to cross, 
because the ground is filled with stagnant water. 
After much rain tha bogs sometimes burst and flood 
the surrounding land. The largest of these wastes 
is the Bog of Allen. 

Although men cannot build upon the bogs, or till 
them, they have a certain use. There is not much 
coal in Ireland, and what there is, is not of a good 
kind ; and there are very few trees indeed, so the 
people cannot use wood for fuel. They cut sods from 
the bogs and pile them in stacks to dry ; and these 
peat sods, which bum with a peculiar smell, are what 
the peasants make their fires of. The bogs seem, to 
consist a good deal of decayed forests, which once 
covered a great part of the country. 

As most of the inhabitants are engaged in tilling 
the ground, Ireland has but few large towns. Dublin, 
the capital, is a handsome city which stands on the 
eeu3t coast where the Liffey falls into Dublin Bay. 
It has a beautiful park. PopUn — a stufi^ made of a 
mixture of silk and wool — is manufactured here. 

Cork, which has a very fine harbour, is the next 
town of importance ; it is a busy seaport, and exports 
pigs and bullocks, pork and butter, besides a great 
deal of tinned meat, which is prepared in the town. 


QuestioxiB on tlie Map of tlie Britisli Isles. 

1. What waters divide the island of Great Britain from the 
Continent ? 

2. What oonntries have coasts on the further side of the North 

3. The island of Great Britain contains three countries ; name 
them. Which is the most northerly? The most westerly? The 
most important ? 

4. A range of hills partly divides England from Scotland ; 
name it. ' 

5. What large island lies to the west of Great Britain ? What 
waters separate these two islands ? 

6. How is England separated from France ? Name an island, two 
or three headlands, and two or three bays on the English shore of 
this channel. 

7. What strait connects the English Channel with the North 
Sea? Sailing northward from this strait, what is the first headland 
we pass? 

8. What is the first large opening on the eastern coast ? Name 
the great town upon this river. 

9. Name any seaboard towns on the coast of the round eastern 

10. What rivers flow into the Wash ? 

11. What name is given to the country round the Wash? 

12. What is the next large opening to the north ? What rivers 
form the Humber ? What point is at its mouth ? 

. 13. Name another bold headland further north. 

14. Name any English rivers which flow into the North Sea, 
north of the Humber. 

15. What town stands where England and Scotland meet? 

16. Sailing north, what large estuary do we shortly pass ? What 
town stands on the Forth ? 

17. Name two other rivers with seaport towns at their mouths on 
the east coast of Scotland. 

18. Bounding the shoulder and sailing westward, what firth do 
we enter? 

19. Bounding the north-eastern point of Scotland and sailing 
through the Pentland Firth, what islands have we on our right ? 

20. What other group lies furiher to the north-east ? 


21. What waters are we in as we ooast the north of Scotland? 
As we sail down the west ? 

22. Sailing down the channel called the ^ Minch," what islands 
have we on our right ? 

23. How would you describe the western coast of Scotland ? 

24. Name the five largest islands which lie close to the coast 
Name the largest openings. 

25. Between what two openings might we pass through Scotland 
in a boat, by means of lakes and a canal ? 

26. What large city stands upon the Clyde? 

27. Name half-a-dozen Scotch headlands, stating which coast they 
are upon. 

28. What firth penetrates some way between England and 
Scotland on the west ? 

29. What English headland stretches furthest into the Irish 

80. What island in the Irish Sea is almost equally distant firom 
England, Scotland, and Ireland ? 

81. Name any English rivers which flow into the Irish Sea. A 
large seaport on the Mersey. 

82. Having passed the Dee, what country do we coast as we sail 

83. Through what strait may we pass so as to have a large island 
on our right? Name the island. 

84. What name is given to the waters between Wales and 

35. Name the two Welsh headlands which stretch furthest into 
the sea. What bay is between these ? 

86. What channel enters the land between South Wales and a 
part of England? What river is this channel the estuary of? 
Name a seaport at its mouth. 

87. Sailing out of the Bristol Channel and southward, what is 
the last point of English ground we come to ? 

88. Name any mountains in Scotland north of the Caledonian 
Canal. What would you say of the whole country ? 

39. What range of mountains crosses the country south of this 

40. What other part of the country is mountainous? Name any 
of the hill ranges. 

41. Name half-a-dozen towns in the interior of Scotland. Say 
where they are. 


42. What parts of England are mountainous ? What parts are 

43. Name the moontain-chain which rons from the borders of 
Scotland nearly to the middle of England. 

44. What rivers rise in these mountains and flow east or west ? 

45. Name any towns in this northern part of the country, and 
say on which side of the mountains they lie. 

46. What name is given to the mountain-chains of Wales. 

47. Name any towns in the flat middle part of England. In the 
flat eastern counties. 

48. Name any hill ranges in the south. 

49. Name half-a-dozen towns in the southern counties. 

50. Name five or six capes round the coast of Ireland, and three 
or four bays. 

51. Where are the mountains of Ireland, near the coast, or in the 
interior ? Name any mountain-chains. 

52. Name the six largest rivers of Ireland. Which of these 
form lakes in their courses ? Name any of these lakes. 

58. What Bog occupies much of the centre of Ireland ? 
54. Name half-a-dozen seaport towns on the coast. 



In *' the pleasant land of France " do most English 
people enjoy, for the first time, the wonder and 
delight of being in a foreign country. A sail of an 
hour or so brings you to Calais, where you find your 
English tongue of little service. Or you may take 
the boat for Boulogne, pleasantest of watering-places, 
where the ladies and gentlemen bathe together in 
gay costumes, and where the charming French- 
women go about in their neat dresses and becoming 
white caps, which are much prettier than hats or 


Or, arriving at the quaint seaport town of Dieppe, 
you may watch the old women in their high Nor- 
mandy caps as they stroll, knitting in hand, along 
the quay. You are inclined to think the solemn- 
looking caps they wear must have something to do 
with the cleverness of the children ; how else should 
they speak French so well,, when we find it so trouble- 
some to learn ? 

Did you ever see such piles of cherries as are for 
sale along the quay ? — to be bought at the rate of a 
penny a pound. It ia plain that Normandy is, like 
the county of Kent, a cherry-growing district. 

The name " Normandy " makes us feel at home in 
this strange land. We remember that our Norman 
kings came from here, and that, for nearly four cen- 
turies, Normandy and the whole western half of 
France belonged, more or less, to the English kings, 
who called themselves kings of France also. This 
was an unhappy state of things, which led to con- 
stant wars between the two countries. Indeed, the 
last century of English possession was one long 
" Hundred Years' War,"^ in which two of the English 
kings, Edward III. and Henry V., gained some 
fSEtmous victories. We are still proud to remember 
the battles of Cressy, Poictiers, and Agincourt. 

Let us go on to the ancient city of Bouen, where 
a thing was done which English people are ashamed 
and sad to remember. In the market-place of Bouen 
Joan of Arc, the brave and gentle peasant girl whose 
courage and faith in God had saved her country, 
was burnt as a witch by the English. *' Jesus!" 
she cried, when the cruel flames reached her tender 


flesh; and an English soldier who heard her said 
" We are lost — ^we have burned a saint 1 " 

The English cause was lost. The war went on a 
few years longer, and everywhere the English were 
defeated, until nothing was left of their vast posses- 
sions but the town of Calais. 

Bouen, which has a cathedral and a vei^y beautiful 
church of St Ouen, is sometimes called '^ the Man- 
chester of France/' because cotton goods are made 
here. But a single look at the quiet, bright old city 
— many of whose shops and warehouses can hardly 
be distinguished from dwelh'ng-houses — would show 
that cotton-spinning in France is by no means the 
great industry it is with ourselves. France is not so 
great a manufacturing country as England : half the 
people in England live in towns, where they work in 
mills or foundries in some manufacturing eentre^ 
where many people are gathered together. In 
France, only a third of the inhabitants live in 
towns ; the greater number are employed in tilling 
the land. The north of France, north of a line 
drawn across the country from the mouth of the 
Loire^ is the busiest part, and here are many towns 
where iron goods, linen, cotton, and woollen stuffs 
are mode. Lille is a busy manufacturing town. 
Cambric is made at Cambrai, and Valenciennes is 
famous for its beautiful lace. 

This northern part of France is like the south of 
Eugland, only it is a little warmer in the summer 
and colder in the winter. Corn and apples, pears, 
and cherries, grow here as in the southern counties 
of England ; the people drink cider^ they keep cows 


and make batter, and they rear an immense quan- 
tity of poultry. The French do not eat nearly so 
much meat as we eat; they live a good deal on 
wheaten bread, made into curiously shaped loaves, 
which are sometimes round like a hoop, and some- 
times are more than a yard long. They also use 
many chickens, and a great quantity of eggs. Not 
that Madame would serve a simple boiled egg as we 
do in England; in a few minutes she tosses up a 
delicious omdeUe, such as only a Frenchwoman can 
make — that -is, a sort of pancake turnover, with 
sweets or savoury herbs inside. But the potoffCy or 
soup, is the everyday food of the people, of which 
they never seem to tire ; a little pan of it is always 
simmering on the little charcoal stove, ready for 
breakfast, dinner, or supper. These soups cost little, 
as they are made for the most part of vegetables, 
and the French are very clever in contriving many 

It is well Madame should know how to cook an 
excellent dinner out of little, for the French peasants 
are poor. The land is cut up into many small farms, 
for the father's property is divided at his death 
equally among his children; and this is why we 
constantly see, in France, patches of wheat no bigger 
than an English cabbage garden. Very hard work it 
is to gain a living out of these small farms ; father, 
mother, and children all have to do field work, and 
it tells upon the women, who grow brown and 
wizened and old before their time. 

But we must quit the country folk, and hasten to 
Paris, the cityof France, and the brightest and 


gayest of towns, where the people seem to live out 
of doors, sipping coffee or wine at little round tables 
on the broad side-walks of the boulevards, as many 
of the wide streets are called. Lively and pleasure- 
loving as the people are, Paris is not an idle town. 
Jewelry and watches, delicious sweetmeats and per- 
fumes, furniture, gloves, elegant robes and bonnets, 
which go all over the world to set the fashions — 
these, and a hundred other costly and beautiful 
things, are made by the deft fingers of the Parisians. 
We have no room to describe the palaces, parks, and 
picture galleries of the splendid city ; nor the glorious 
cathedral and other ancient buildings, which stand 
upon an island in the Seine ; nor the bridges which 
span the beautiful river. We must leave Paris, and 
journey further south. 

A second line, drawn from the mouth of the 
G-aronne right across the country, encloses Middle 
France. This is a pleasant, sunshiny land, where 
the vine is grown everywhere, either trained along 
the ground or upon poles, as hops are in England. 
The grape-gathering is a pretty sight, and the season 
is one of much mirth and festivity. Wine is made 
from the grapes, much of which is exported, but a 
good deal is drunk by the people, who use wine as 
commonly as the English use beer. French people, 
however, seldom drink too much. 

Delightful as the climate is here, the people have 
occasion to dread the tremendous hail-storms, which 
every year destroy many of the tender grapes. 
These storms, and the floods which overflow the 
valley of the Loire when the snows of the Cevennes 


melt, often caase much distress among the io- 

Southern France is a still warmer, sonnier region. 
Here the people make little butter, and do all their 
cooking with oil ; the oil they use is pressed out of 
the fruit of the olive-tree, which grows only in warm, 
sunny lands. The mulbeny-tree, too, is largely 

grown in this part of France for its leaves which are 
the favourite food of the dainty silkworm. To take 
care of these worms, and reel the silk off their 
cocoons, is the principal work of the people in this 
part of France. In the towns of the beautiful warm 
Ehone valley the people are employed in manu- 


facturing the silk ; Lyons is the most important of 
these silk-making towns. The silks of France are 
famous all over the world for their good quality and 
beautiful colours. 



If the south of France is warm and sunny^ how 
delightful must these two lands of Southern Europe 
be ! Two countries they are, but the map shows 
that the same rivers flow, and the same mountain 
chains run, through them both ; we see, too, that 
together they form a great peninsula, separated from 
Africa only by narrow straits which open into the 

Just within the Straits is a tongue of land, upon, 
which is a great rock mountain with so steep a fall 
to the sea that it cannot be climbed. This rock is 
made into a fortress, bristling all over witk guns, to 
hold which, holes and passages have been cut in the 
solid stone ; and this great fortress is the key to the 

British ships, however, may enter the Straits 
freely, because the fortress of Gibraltar, with its 
thousand huge guns, does not belong to Spain at all, 
but to England ; and many English soldiers man the 
guns and keep the forts. In times of peace, the 
soldiers are glad to amuse themselves sometimes by 
going after the little monkeys which dwell in the 
high cliffs; this is the only part of Europe where 

Q 2 


these amaeiog creatuies are to be found ia a wild 

Ab we may venture through the Straits, let us take 
ship, and collect a cai^ of the good things of Spain. 
We mnet stop on our vay at (^rto, aod take in a 
stock of port wine ; for the Douro, upon which this 

large town stands, flows through a famous wine- 
growing district. The vineyards stretch upon either 
side of the river for many miles ; and thousands of 
women and children flock thither for the vintage, to 
gather the ripe grapes ; and thousands of men are 
employed to tread them, in order to press out the 

We cannot pass hy Lisbon either without stopping 
to see the capital of Portugal; and, as we enter the 
wide mouth of the Tagns, a swarm o[ little boats 
gathers round oar vessel, laden high with oranges, 
flgs, grapes, pomegranates, and other delicious aoA 
heautiliil Ihuts, whioh they are eager to sell. The 


bright building8 of the town, high above upon hills, 
look very pretty from the harbour; but when we 
enter, the narrow and dirty streets are disappointing. 
Lisbon was nearly destroyed by a terrible earth- 
quake which took place more than a century ago : 
public buildings and many streets of houses were 
thrown down, and nearly sixty thousand persons 

Bound by Spain now ; we sail some way up the 
Ouadalquivir to the town of Seville, where we lay in 
great Seville oranges for marmalade. Through the 
Straits we go, and, ho ! for *' Malaga raisins, best of 
raisins under the sun." 

We have forgotten, however, to take in our stock 
of sherry wine at Cadiz, whither it is sent from Xeres, 
where an immense quantity is made. 

We cannot stop everywhere; we must pass by 
large seaports, and towns famous in story, in which 
there are strange and beautiful buildings. But we 
keep as near shore as we can, and are delighted to 
see banks of brilliant flowers, and groves of glowing 
fruits; and stay I surely those are palm-trees, the 
real palms of the East, which we have long known in 
pictures. The bright-gleaming oranges and lemons 
are varied by darker groves of mulberry-trees: for 
the useful little silkworm seems to enjoy the pleasant 
air of these sea-side plains, and more silk is produced 
here than in any other country of Europe excepting 
Italy. Most of it, however, is sent to France to be 

How pretty the villages look— the houses nestling 
among fruit-trees and flowers, and coloured^ some- 


times piuk, sbmetimes blue^ for bright colours look 
well here, the more so as many of the trees bear dull, 
dark-green leaves. The peasants like bright clothes 
also, and the crimson sashes or waistbands of the 
men and the bright petticoats of the women flash 
gaily in the open-air dance with which they love to 
end the day. 

But we must get on to the busy seaport town 
of Barcelona, and complete our cargo with nuts, 
'^ Barcelona nuts," which have been gathered in the 
great forests that cover so large a part of Northern 
Spain. Sweet chestnuts, too, abound in these forests^ 
and the people cook and eat them as freely as we do 

We have finished our voyage now, and say to our- 
selves. What a delightful land is Spain! How full 
of delicious things and pleasant spots and happy 
people! But Spain is rather like a house which 
hangs up handsome blinds and curtains, and has 
dreary and empty rooms within. All the middle of 
the country, away from the pleasant plains of the 
coast, is a high dreary tableland, with hardly a tree 
to aflbrd shelter from the bitter cold of winter, op 
the burning heat of the summer sun. It is crossed, 
as the map shows, from east to west, by ranges of 
mountains, which are dreary as itself; rivers flow 
between the mountain ranges, but they dry up or 
get very shallow in the summer when they are most 
wanted. Madrid, the capital of Spaiu, stands upon 
this plain, and is the highest city in Europe : it is a 
dull enough town, except when the Spanish women 
take their evening walks : no other la<Ues know how 

XTALT. 87 

to move with such stately grace, and very pretty 
thejr look in the black lace mantillas they commonly 
wear instead of bonnets. 



Like a picture, like a poem, like a dream of pleasant 
things, is the very name of sunny, beautiful Italy ; 
rather, this name, as with magical power, calls up 
a succession of shifting pictures, pleasing visions. 
We close our eyes, and, behold, — 

^ A gloriona city in the sea ; 
The sea is in the broad, the narrow streets. 
Ebbing and flowing; and the salt sea-weed 
Clings to the marble of her palaces I 
Ko tread of men, no footsteps to and fro. 
Tread to her gates : the path lies o'er the sea." 

Here is, indeed, a strange silent city, where the 
sound of wheels is never heard, for the streets are 
water, and the carriages are long black boats with a 
rower at either end, and what looks like the body of 
a carriage in the middle. These are gondolas; and 
are to be seen perpetually skimmin&r the broad, the 
narrow way, beir4 pas^ngers or foods from street 
to street 

' The '' Lady of Lombardy," the " City of the Sea," 
owes her beauty to the mi^ortunes of her founders. 
Many centuries ago, the clever and industrious 
citizens of Padua, and other towns on the Adriatic, 

88 ITALT. 

were driven from their homes by At'tila, king of the 

There are at the head of the Adriatic about a 
hundred little islands, formed of mud and sand swept 
down by the rivers which flow through Northern 
Italy. These islands are surrounded by shallow 
water, and between them are many narrow channels. 
The Yene'ti, driven from the mainland, settled them- 
selves upon these islands, and there founded a city 
in the midst of the waters. It was slow work. For 
years, the settlers could barely keep the woK from 
the door. But they built ships and traded ; by-and- 
by, they gathered riches, raised splendid palaces of 
marble on one little island after another, and built 
the grand square of St. Mark with the remarkable 
bell-tower. Of these poor little isles, 'the reftige 
of outcasts, they made a great merchant city — 
beautiful Venice ! 

Look again ; there is a yellow rapid river, and, 
beyond, a cluster of seven hills ; upon the hills rise 
the buildings of a great city, and among these are 
gardens and vineyards and olive-yards. How many 
of the buildings seem to be churches I Churches 
they are ; for the city is Borne, which has as many 
churches, all but one, as there are days in the year; 
and, amongst them, St. Peter's, the largest church in 
the world. The streets swarm with priests who serve 
these churches; and there are, at certain seasons, 
a great many visitors in the city, who go to Borne, 
partly to see the grand shows of the Bomish Church 
and the Pope who is the head of it. But still more 
do educated people care to see the remains of ancient 

ITALY. 89 

Borne — the ruins of buildings larger and grander 
than any the world has since produced. 

How the beggars swarm and torment the visitors, 
and what crowds of lazy, dirty, pretty boys and girls 
lie about the steps of the buildings, nibbling long 
sticks of maccaroni ! How dirty and narrow many 
of the streets are I It is pleasant to think that, now, 
all Italy has a king of its own, who will try to help 
the people into better ways. The dirty, ragged 
children will, we hope, be gathered into schools ; and 
the streets will be made clean. Bome, which has for 
centuries belonged to the Pope, is now the capital of 
the new kingdom of Italy. 

We avoid the Campagna, a deserted plain to the 
north of Bome, where there is hardly a htit, or 
even a tree to be seen. The grass looks green and 
rich, and there are many cattle and sheep feeding 
upon it; the sickly-looking shepherds, wrapped in 
blankets, walk about upon high stilts. A way 
of amusing themselves? Not at all; a foul air, 
maJaria, rises from the swampy flats, and those who 
breathe this air fall ill of fever or ague. The shep- 
herds use stilts to raise them, as the air is worst near 
the ground. This low unhealthy plain stretches, 
under different names, nearly all along the western 

We keep inland, within sight of the mountains, 
the long chain of the Apennines, which goes all 
through Italy, and is covered in many parts with 
forests of chestnuts. On the lower slopes, there are 
mulberry groves for the silkworms, for more silk is 
produced in Italy than in any other country of 

90 .ITAliT. 

Europe; there are endless vineyards; and there 
are whole groves of oranges I 

''See Naples and then die/' says the Neapolitan 
proverb, as if nothing were left worth seeing after 
this fiftir city. And what can be lovelier to look 
npon than the white buildings of the city rising on a 
hill'-side among orchards, vineyards, and groves of 
oranges, between the blue sky of Italy and the bine 
Bea by which Naples stands! Within, there is a 
wonderful hubbub; the streets are crowded, for 
workers in every trade, shoemakers, carpenters, 
smiths, weavers, do their work out of doors. That 
is, if any work can go on while everybody is talking 
at the top of bis voice, and gesticulating with hands 
and arms to make his meaning the plainer; the 
Wonder is, who listens ? The streets of Naples are 
paved with blocks of a curious substance, namely, 
lava. Lava is the melted matter — ^which becomes 
hard as it cools — that is thrown out of the hole or 
eraier of a volcano. Only a few miles from Naples 
is Vesuvius, a famous volcano whose fires are often 
burning ; then, streams of lava flow down its sides, 
and clouds of thick vapour rise from its monster 
chimney. Sometimes lava and fiery cinders come in 
such quantities as to spread over the plain at the 
foot of the mountain; in the old Boman days, the 
two cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, which stood 
at the base of Vesuvius, were buried, the one under 
ashes, the other imder lava, before the people had 
time to escape. Italy has another volcano. Mount 
Etna, which is in the island of Sicily. 

We must leave Italy without seeing the beautiful 


and fertile wheat-growing plain in the north, the 
Plain of Lombardy, which is watered by the rapid 
river Po. 



Is there any treat to equal a first visit to Switzer- 
land? The very name calls np, not a country 
where people live in towns and work at trades for 
their living, but green, sunny valleys, blue lakes, 
snow-capped mountains, fields of ice, and pleasant, 
merry travelhng over diflScult ways. 

The " playground of Europe " the little country is 
called ; and no people swarm there to play through 
a happy holiday more than the English. 

Let us enter where the Ehine leaves Switzerland, 
at the pleasant town of Basle. We may chance to 
see a stork's nest or two on the roofs of the houses 
on our way to the Three Kings, which hotel we 
choose because its windows overhang the Bhine. 
How the river rushes along! — ^if such a stately, 
rapid sweep may be called " rushing." On, on, it 
goes, with a continual strong flow, while we gaze 
with awe and delight ; and in thought we follow it 
back to the high Alps, where it gathers, not its 
waters only, but its force. We all know how fast 
and how easily we run downhill. 

We must not linger at Basle; let us go on to 
Geneva, the bright capital of Switzerland, where 
** Geneva's blue waters " spread before us, and th^ 


mighty Blanc, the highest of the Alps, nearly five 
times as high as any mountain in England, towers in 
the distance. It is partly a French moantain now, 
thongh we always think of it as part of Switzerland. 
Or, hetter still, let us away to the heart of the 
Alps — ^to Lucerne, resting on the margin of its 

beautiful lake, and girdled by chains of snowy 
Alps. Upon one of the shadowy bays of the lake 
stands the chapel of William Tell, the hero of 
Switzerland, who is said to have made the Swiss a 
free nation. 

From the shore of Laceme rises the big, swelling 
Bigi. If we are not good mountain climbers, we 
may ascend by the marvellous railway which goes 
to the Tery summit of the mountain. Of coarse, we 
most see the snn rise. At three o'clock in the 


morning, perhaps, when we are comfortably asleep 
— for there is an hotel at the top of the mountain — 
we are startled by a ringing bletst from the long 
Alpine horn with which the mountaineers call their 
cattle home. Sleepy as we are, we tumble out of 
bed ; we must see the sun rise, and he waits for 
nobody. A motley crowd we are, wrapped in what- 
eyer came uppermost, and we have time to look 
at one another, for the sun has pot yet bestirred 
himself; the world is waiting for him in a clear, 
still light. At last the eastern sky grows rosy ; the 
white maiden-mountains flush all over at the coming 
of their lord with a pink blush like nothing so much 
as that which pleasure kindles in the face of a child. 
More glorious, more golden grows the sky ; the rim 
rises slowly from behind the mountains ; by-and-by 
the great round orb has fully risen, and is mounting 
high in the heavens. 

We are in no hurry to go in ; the Alps lie before 
.us, the snowy Alps of the Bernese Oberland, chain 
behind chain, peak beyond peak, white and gleaming 
in the early light. These are the real mountains 
we have imagined all our lives, whose heads reach 
so high that they get into cold, strange air, where 
water becomes ice and mist is converted into snow, 
and the snow never wholly melts away. 

We can pick out one and another shape we know. 
There is the Jungfrau (the maiden), and there is 
the great St. Gothard, which has just been pierced 
in a wonderful way for a railway into Italy. How 
lovely the valleys are, with villages nestling in them, 
which might be playthings, so tiny they look — toy- 


houses which you might carry in your pinafore. And 
the lakes ! — fully a dozen of them you may count, 
lying like shining mirrors in the valleys. 

The Kigi itself is full of delight. There are the 
handsome, friendly cows, each with its great bell 
about its neck, and the goats, and the strange 
Alpine flowers. The most beautiful of these is the 
lovely little gentian, each flower growing by itself, 
set on the green earth as star& are set in the sky, 
and so blue, so very blue ; bluer than the sky, or 
the eyes of a child, or than any blue thing you 
have seen. 

But if we can climb well, we shall not be content 
with the Kigi. We get a guide and an alpenstock, 
that is, a long stick to steady our steps, and away 
for the high Alps ; we must see the gilaciers. What 
are glaciers ? They are great fields of ice, or rather, 
of frozen snow, sometimes fifteen or sixteen miles 
long and a mile or two across, of which there are 
hundreds in the high valleys of the Alps. The high 
valleys being filled, the great mass of ice slides very 
slowly down towards the low valley at the foot of 
the mountain. The glacier is, in fact, a slow-moving 
river of ice, by which the snow, for which there is 
no longer room on the mountain peaks or in the 
high valleys, reaches the low plains, where it will be 
converted into water. Very curious these glaciers 
look ; sometimes they are like a smooth summer sea, 
and sometimes the ice rises in great jagged heaps, 
and looks like the ocean suddenly frozen in the 
midst of a storm. Here and there are frightful 
cracks in these ice*-rivers, chasms which reach down 

BWiTZEEi:.A)n). 95 

hundredB of feet, so thick is the ice, and many an 
unwary traveller has slipped into these dread 
ravines and been heard of no more 

The partial thaw of the snow m the spring cauees 

anothet fearful danger. The snow on the moantain- 
tops 18 loosened, and rolls down the sides of the 
mountains in immense quantities and with great 
force ; and these fearful avalanehe$ sometimes hary 


whole villages in the valleys below deep beneath a 
snowy covering. 

We must not linger among the Alps, nor must we 
stop to say much about the brave and hardy Swiss. 
Dearly they love their beautiful native land, but the 
mountains and the lakes take up a great deal of 
room, and leave them but little land to till ; there- 
fore, though they are very industrious people, many 
Swiss have to leave their homes and seek work in 
foreign countries, but always with the hope of re- 
turning when they have earned enough to keep 
them in Switzerland. The watches made in Switzer- 
land, Geneva watches, are well known everywhere. 



Germany is a very large country, and, in many 
ways, is one of the most important in Europe. It is 
a country made up of many countries, or states, 
which speak the same language and care about the 
same things, and have lately agreed to place them- 
selves under the King of Prussia, who is therefore 
the Emperor of Germany. His eldest son. Prince 
Frederick William, has married our Princess Eoyal, 
the eldest daughter of our Queen. 

This is not the only tie which binds us to the 
Germans. Strange as their language sounds to us, 
many of their words are just like our own ; they 
love their homes as English people do, care for 


books and study, perhaps, more than we do, are 
tmthful and industrious, and are fair and ruddy, and 
not very unlike English people in appearance. 

Is there any reason why the English and the 
Germans should be alike in so many ways ? There 
is a sort of cousinship between the nations, for they 
belong to the same race ; that is to say, both the 
Germans and the English are descended from the 
same brave people. The Saxons who conquered 
Britain many centuries ago, came, in the first 
place, in their war-rships from what is now a part of 
Germany — the part lying near the river Elbe, upon 
the North Sea. 

But when you are in Germany, you say to 
yourself, not. How like England it is! but. How 
different ! 

It is hard, at first, to say wherein the difference 
lies. Very much the same sort of things grow in 
the two countries; apples and pears, cherries and 
plums, com, potatoes, and cabbage. The Germans 
eat a great deal of cabbage, made into a salt, sour 
pickle called sav£rkraid, which foreigners think very 
nasty. Cotton, linen, and woollen stuffs, and iron 
goods, are made as with us : but here we come to 
one difference. Cotton is manufactured in one part 
of England, iron in another, wool in a third. In 
Germany it is not so ; each of the large towns has 
all these and other manufactures carried on in it. 

We see much that strikes us as new in the towns ; 
they are seldom so large and crowded as our busy 
English towns. The best streets are often very 
wide, and in the middle are walks delightfully 


98 OESMAinr. 

shaded by fine trees with seats under them where 
the women sit and knit: German women knit a 
great deal. 

In the evening, it is pleasant to see the man 
and his wife with their heads well out of an open 
window. Do not imagine they have come to look 
at something, and will pop in again in a minute ; 
on the contrary, they may stay there for an hour. 
Notice the red cushions for their elbows^ made to fit 
the window-seat, and you will see they mean to be 
comfortable. The houses are usually very high, 
and each family has, not a nice little house for a 
home, as in England, but a single floor in one of 
these high houses. 

Another thing that strikes us is, how much the 
German people think of the education of their 
children. They seem to think it just as important 
that the children should go to school as that the 
fiathers should go to work; and you see scores of 
little lads and maidens, satchel on back, trotting off 
. in the morning to be in good time for eight o'clock 

Berlin is the capital of Prussia. Its principal 
street, XJnt&ir den Linden (under the lime-trees), is 
divided into five pleasant, shady avenues by chest- 
nut, lime, and other trees. You are struck by the 
number of soldiers here, on parade or walking about 
Prussia is what is called a great military Power ; 
that is, a country which has many soldiers. Indeed, 
every man has to spend three years of his life as a 
soldier, that he may be able to fight for his country 
should he be wanted. 

6XBMANT. 99 

Beautiful china is made in Berlin^ as in some 
other towns of the Empire ; the most beautiful and 
costly is the kind called Dresden china. 

A sail up the Bhine takes us through the 
prettiest part of Germany. What a delightful sail 
it is! 

Let us take the Bhine steamer at Cologne : this is 
a rather large town where Eau de Cologne is made, 
and where there is one of the most beautiful cathe- 
drals in the world ; it has been six hundred years in 
building, and is only now finished. Having seen 
this famous church we hasten on board, and up the 
beautiful river. How broad and stately it is ! though 
much less rapid here than when we last met it at 
Basle. What strange-looking craft is this, laden 
with felled trees, and with rough little houses as 
well as women and children upon it ? It is a raft ; 
the trees of the forest are roughly fastened together 
thus, and set to float down stream in charge of men 
who often take their families with them. The raft 
wiU at last reach a port where it will be taken to 
pieces, that the timber may be sold. But we must 
use our eyes ; we are nearing Bonn and getting into 
the most beautiful part of the river. Here and there 
either bank rises into a high cliff, 'crowned with the 
ruins of an ancient castle ; for many castles stand on 
each side of the Bhine, and stories belong to them 
all. Almost every bend of the river, every rock, 
every island, has its story, so that a sail down the 
Elune i^ like a delightful book of fairy tales. Up 
the banks, even to the tops of the high MQs, the vine 
is grown carefully ; not an inch of ground is wasted ; 

H 2 


and where the hill-side is too steep to support the 
plants, a sort of shelf or terrace is made for them. 

Words will not help us to imagine half the beauty 
and delight of this Bhine river, — ^the vine-clad banks, 
the craggy heights, the mountains, drawing close up 
to the river, the cosy comers where the pretty towns 
nestle, the dark steep cliffs, the jagged ruins of the 
old keeps, which look down on us as if they would 
say that they and the Bhine were there centuries 
before we came into the world! No wonder the 
Germans think much of their beautiful river, and 
delight to sing its praises. 



Holland is an extraordinary little country. It is 
crowded with busy people, and has large seaports, and 
ships which trade with many lands. Much of the 
country consists of meadow-land, and many cows are 
kept, from whose milk butter and cheese are made. 
The Dutch have some manufactures; they make 
the kind of linen we call " holland," manufacture a 
certain kind of spirit, and build ships, both for their 
own use and to sell to other countries. They grow 
flowers largely, especially tulips and hyacinths, the 
bulbs of which they export. 

All these things, and many more, they do; but 
none of these is the principal business of the Dutch 
people. What that is, you would never guess. " I 


strive, and keep my head above water," is the motto 
of one division of the country, and this is exactly the 
principal business of the Dutch — ^to keep their heads 
above water; above real water that would drown 
them and their cities and all belonging to them, and 
make of Holland a South Seaj to match the North 
Sea which washes it. 

They have not always been successful ; look on the 
map', and you will see a great opening called the 
Zuyder Zee, which means south sea. There, and in 
other parts of Holland, the sea has had the best of 
the fight ; it poured in over towns and villages, and 
destroyed many thousands of people, who were going 
about their work without fear, forgetful of the terrible 
foe upon their borders. But what can these Dutch 
people do ? What is the use of fighting with such a 
foe as the sea ? If -they were to withdraw from the 
conflict for a day, all might be over with them ; so 
sentinels keep watch day and night, as when armies 
are fightiog ; and if they see the foe advance, an 
alarm is sounded, upon which every man must rush 
from his business or his bed to join in the battle. 

This is how it is : Holland is the lowest part of 
the great plain of Middle Europe. So low is it, 
that the very rivers flow far above the level of the 
land, and have to be kept in their beds by huge 
banks of earth called dykes. If a dyke give way, 
the river must rush out and flood the land. Nor is 
this the only source of peril ; being so low, much of 
Holland was at one time under water ; the people 
had not room to live ; so they determined to get rid 
of the water. They built channels, or canals, to hold 


it, and they made pumps worked by windmills to 
pump the low-lying water up into these canals. So 
successful were these efforts that, where wide lakes 
once lay, there are now fields of very green grass, 
with dykes and windmills all round them, bordering 
the canals which carry the water to the sea. But if 
these dykes were to burst, the water would rush out, 
and the green fields be once more flooded. 

Worse danger than all the rest, Holland lies lower 
than the sea. Along part of the coasts there are 
sandhills which help to keep it out, but in other 
parts the people have raised tremendous granite 
.walls and dykes, huge and strong. For the west 
wind drives the sea in upon Holland, and it is hard 
for any works of men to stand against it. Think 
of it ; think of standing inside such a sea-wall and 
hearing the sea roar without, high above your head, 
with nothing but the wall between you and death. 
No wonder that looking after their dykes is the 
principal business of the Dutch. 

Have you heard of the little boy who lived in 
Haarlem — a boy of eight — who saved his town by a 
"golden deed"? 

Grass and wild flowers grow upon the dykes, trees 
are planted upon the tops of them, and they are 
broad enough at the top to form pleasant roads. 

This little boy was hastening home one evening, 
just as the sun was setting. ** Just as he was bracing 
himself for a run, he was startled by the sound of 
trickling water. Whence did it come ? He looked 
up and saw a small hole in the dyke through which 
a tiny stream was flowing. Any child in Holland 


will shudder at the thought of a leak in the dyke ; 
the boy understood the danger at a glance. That 
little hole, if the water were allowed to trickle 
through, would soon be a large one, and a terrible 
flood would be the result. 

^' Quick as a flash he saw his duty. Throwing 
away his flowers, the boy clambered up the height, 
until he reached the hole. His chubby little finger 
was thrust in almost before he knew it. The flowing 
was stopped ! * Ah ! ' he thought, with a chuckle of 
boyish delight, * the waters must stay back now ! 
Haarlem shall not be drowned while I am here.' 

'* This was all very well at first, but the night was 
falling fast, chill vapours filled the air. Our little hero 
began to tremble with cold and fear. He shouted 
loudly; he screamed * Come here! come herel* but no 
one came. The cold grew more intense, a numbness, 
beginning in the tired little finger, crept over his 
hand and arm, and soon his whole body was filled 
with pain. He shouted again, ' Will no one come ? 
mother ! mother ! ' Alas ! his mother had already 
locked the doors, and had quite resolved to scold 
him in the morning, for spending the night with 
his blind old friend; without her permission. He 
tried to whistle, perhaps some straggling boy might 
hear the signal ; but his teeth chattered so, it was 

" The moon looked down upon that small lonely 
form, sitting upon a stone half-way up the dyke. His 
head was bent, but he was not asleep, for every now 
and then one restless hand rubbed freely the out- 
stretched arm that seemed fststened to the dyke, and 


often the pale, tearful face tamed quickly at some 
real or fancied sound. 

"If he drew away that tiny finger, the waters 
would rush forth, and never stop until they had 
swept over the town. No, he would hold it there 
till daylight — if he lived 1 He was not very sure of 
living. What did this strange buzzing mean ? and 
then the knives that seemed pricking and piercing 
him from head to foot ? He was not certain now 
that he could draw his finger away, even if he 
wished to. 

"At daybreak, a clergyman, returning from the 
bedside of a sick man, thought he heard groans as 
he walked along on the top of the dyke. Bending, 
he saw, far down the side, a child who seemed to be 
writhing with pain. 

** * Hi ! ' cried he in astonishment ; * What are you 
doing there, boy ? * 

** * I am keeping the water from running out,' was 
the simple answer of the little hero. ^ Tell them to 
come quickly.' 

" It is needless to add that they did come quickly, 
and that the little hero was relieved of his hard post 
But the town was safe : and the safety of it and of 
all its inhabitants was due to his brave endurance." 

Did you ever hear so grand a story? Does it 
nearly make you wish there were such dykes in 
England, so that some little English child, perhaps 
yourself, might save his country thus? 


LESS09 xzvn. 


The Scandinavian peninsula includes the two coun- 
tries of Norway and Sweden. A range of rugged 
mountains runs from end to end of the peninsula, 
filling up nearly the whole of Norway. On the 
eastern side, this mountain chain has a rather long 
and gradual slope, so that Sweden is a comparatiyely 
flat country. In Norway, the mountains approach 
so close to the coast that the sea makes its way into 
the curious narrow valleys with steep walls of rock 
thousands of feet high ; and where there might be 
fields with grazing cattle, there is 8ea between the 

" Every one who has looked at the map of 
Norway must have been struck with the singular 
character of its coast On the map it looks so 
jagged, such a strange mixture of land and sea, that 
it appears as if there must be a perpetual struggle 
between the two — the sea striving to inundate the 
land, and the land pushing itself out into the sea, 
till it ends in their dividing the region between 
them. On the spot, however, this coast is very 

"The long straggling promontories are moun- 
tainous towering ridges of rock, springing up in 
precipices from the water; while the bays between 
them, instead of being rounded with shelving sandy 
shores, on which the sea tumbles its waves, as in 
bays of our coast, are, in fact, long, narrow valleys, 


filled with sea^ instead of being laid out in fields and 

" The high rocky banks shelter these deep bays 
(called fiords) from almost every wind ; so that their 
waters are usually as still as those of a lake. For 
days and weeks together^ they reflect each separate 
tree-top of the pine forests which clothe the moun- 
tain sides, the mirror only being broken by the leap 
of some sportive fish, or the oars of the boatman as 
he goes to inspect the sea-fowl from islet to islet of 
the fiord, or carries out his nets or his rod to Catch 
the sea-trout, or char, or cod, or herrings, which 
abound in their seasons on the coast of Norway. 

'^ It is difficult to say whether these fiords are the 
most beautiful in summer or in winter. In summer, 
they glitter with golden sunshine ; and purple and 
green shadows from the mountain and forest lie on 
them ; and these may be more lovely than the &int 
light of the winter noons of those latitudes, and the 
snowy pictures of frozen peaks which then show 
themselves on the surface; but before the day is 
half over, out come the stars — ^the glorious stars 
which shine like nothing that we have ever seen — 
and these, as they silently glide over from peak to 
peak of those rocky passes, are imaged on the waters 
so clearly that the fisherman, as he unmoors his boat 
for his evening task, feels as if he were about to 
shobt forth his boat into another heaven, and to 
cleave his way among the stars. 

" Still as everything is to the eye, sometimes for 
a hundred miles along these deep sea-valleys, there 
is rarely silence. The ear is kept awake by a 


thousand voices. In the summer there are cataracts, 
leaping from ledge to ledge of the rocks ; and there 
is the bleating of the kids that browse there, and the 
flap of the great eagle's wings, as it dashes abroad 
from its eyrie, and the cries of whole clouds of sea- 
birds which inhabit the islets ; and all these sounds 
are mingled and multiplied by the strong echoes, till 
they become a din as loud as that of a city. 

'' Even at night, when the flocks are in the fold, 
and the birds at roost, and the echoes themselves 
seem to be asleep, there is occasionally a sweet 
music heard, too soft for even the listening ear to 
catch by day. Every breath of summer wind that 
steals through the pine forests wakes this music as 
it goes. The stiff piny leaves of the flr and pine 
vibrate with the breeze like the strings of a musical 
instrument, so that every breath of the night-wind, 
in a Norwegian forest, wakens a myriad of tiny 
harps ; and this gentle and mournful mnsic may be 
heard in gushes the whole night through. This 
music, of course, ceases when each tree becomes 
laden with snow (which is the case for fully seven 
months of the year) ; but yet there is sound in the 
midst of the longest winter night. 

" There is the rumble of some avalanche, as, after 
a drifting storm, a mass of snow too heavy to keep 
its place slides and tumbles from the mountain peak. 
There is also, now and then, a loud crack of the ice 
in the nearest glacier. Nor is this all. Wherever 
there is a nook between the rocks on shore, where a 
man may build a house, and clear a field or two— 
wherever there is a platform beside the cataract 


where the sawyer may plant Ms mill, and make a 
path fiom it to join some great road, there is a 
hnmaiL habitation and the sounds that belong to it. 
Thence, in winter nights, come music and laughter, 
and the tread of dancers, and the hum of many voices. 
The Norwegians are a social and hospitable people, 
and they hold their gay meetings, in defiance of 
their Arctic climate, through every season of the 

To get from valley to valley during the long winter 
is not so difficult a matter as yon would imagine. 
The ice makes a smooth road everywhere, on land 
and water alike, over which the snug sledges with 
their merry bells fly like the wind. These sledges 

are light little carriages, fitted with skates instead of 
wheels, that glide smoothly along the ice ; they are 
drawn by horses, or by the swift-footed reindeer. 

The people both of Norway and Sweden find 
pleasure in learning and in books, and they read a 
great deal ; perhaps because the long winter nights 
give them much time within doors. In that part of 
Norway which lies to the north of the seventieth 
parallel, they never see the sun for two months at a 
* Mim Mutinean. 


time, but have a long dreary night ; cheered, however, 
by beautiful lights in the sky, which are called the 
Awrora Borecdia, or the Northern Lights. To make 
up for this long winter night they have a summer 
day as long ; a bright, hot two months, daring which 
the sun is never out of sight. A traveller says, " It 
was eleven o'clock at night when we left the Lap- 
landers (the strange little people who live quite to 
the north) ; and we reached the sea-side a few minutes 
before midm'ght It was a glorious evening, the sun 
shining waim and ruddy across the calm sound. It 
was more like a sunset at Naples than what I had 
imagined of midnight within the Arctic circle." 

This Scandinavian peninsula is a hug country, 
with many varieties of climate between its northern 
and southern extremities. Look at the map, and 
you will see that much of Sweden lies between the 
same parallels as Scotland does ; and, therefore, has 
somewhat the same climate. Fruit and com are 
grown, and the people are busy farmers in what, 
compared with Norway, is almost a flat country. 

Stockholm, the capital, is another Venice, built 
on many islands; it is nearly as beautiful as the 
fair Venice of the souths and is a very much cleaner, 
sweeter city. 

The people of this northern land are, now, a 
peaceable and industrious race ; but the hardihood 
bred of sea and mountain led them in the old days 
to prefer a life of peril and glory on the wild seas to 
any wealth got by the tame crafts of the landsman. 
They held that whatever upon sea or land they 
were strong enough to take was fairly theirs. Where- 

110 BUSBU. 

fore these Norse Yikings became the terror of all 
lands bordering on the northern seas ; and no country 
suffered more than England from their ravages. 
Indeed^ they conquered much of the country, and 
settled upon the pleasant English lands they had 
subdued ; so we may reckon the blood of the Vikinffs 
with that of the other races which go to make up the 
English nation. 

LESSOR xzvin. 


One half of Europe and a third of Asia, and that 
third larger than the whole of Europe, are included 
in the vast empire of Bussia; indeed, it is a sort 
of giant among countries which looks large enough 
upon the map to swallow up the rest of the Old 
World. But with countries, as with people, good 
stuff is often wrapped in small parcels ; and the 
greater part of Bussia is not by any means " good 

A glance at the map will show you one or two 
reasons for this. There is a long sea-coast on the 
north, with a good many openings which might 
afford harbours for the ships. Yes, but it is the 
coast of a frozen sea ; frozen rivers enter it — that is, 
the water enters under a coat of many feet of ice ; 
frozen marshes border it ; and the ground of Northern 
Bussia, both in Europe and Asia, is frost-bound far 
below the surface to depths which the hot summer 
sun of these northern lands cannot penetrate. Siberia, 

Bneeu. Ill 

as BusBia in Asia is called, is more cruelly cold, more 
utterly desolate, than Bussia in Europe in the same 
latitudes ; thus Yakutsk is the coldest town in the 
world, though Archangel, on the White Sea, lies 
further to the north. But in the icy deserts beyond 
(hose places there are no towns ; they are only fre- 
qaented by hunters, who come hither for the seal, or 

to break the ice in quest of fish. Indeed, through- 
out the whole of Siberia, the population is not as 
much as one person to a whole square mile I 

It is not only the northern plains whicli are ex- 
cessively cold ; the whole of Bussia has a tar colder, 
longer winter than you would expect from its latitude. 

112 BUS8IA. 

The map will, again, tell yoa why : all through the 
wide empire there is not a mountain, hardly a hiU, 
except the low chain of the Ural Mountains, which 
diyide Bussia in Europe from Siberia. 

Suppose, for a moment, that we could alter the 
map : let us raise a great chain of Alps along the 
sixty-fifth parallel, a little to the north of Archangel. 
Have you ever taken shelter under a wall from a cold 
wind, or from the rain which the wind was driving 
before it ? Our new Alps would act like such a wall, 
and would shelter the rest of Bussia from the icy 
winds that blow down from the frozen plains and 
frozen seas about the pole. 

Or suppose that, instead of raising new Alps, we 
only pile the Ural Mountains three times as high 
as they are at present — make them, in fact, as 
high as the Swiss Alps. What difference would that 
make ? Do you not know the bitter winds that come 
to us in the spring, " Winds from the north-east, 
good for neither man nor beast " ? Winds that crack 
our skins and blow the dust in our faces, and give us 
coughs and colds, and nip us up miserably ? Per- 
haps you have wondered where these winds came 
from : look at the map and you will see — across the 
great plain of Europe, that is, over Holland and 
Northern Germany and Bussia, over the Urals, which 
are not high enough to keep them out, straight off 
the frozen wilds of Siberia I No wonder these east 
winds should be so cold ; no wonder, either, they 
should be so dry as to make our skins smart and 
crack; for until they reach the Baltic and North 
Seas, they pass over nothing but dry land. 

BUSSIA. 113 

Here is another reason why England has a climate 
so much pleasanter than that of the part of Russia in 
the same latitude. The sea does not get warm so readily 
as the land under the hot sun of summer, nor does it 
get so readily cooled in the winter. Therefore, people 
go to the seaside for cool breezes in summer ; while, 
in the winter, the moist winds from the sea warm the 
land. Now, the sea hardly breaks into Bussia at all ; 
the north winds reach it over an ocean of ice ; and 
the only other waters which border Bussia are those of 
two or three inland seas. As you would expect, the 
part of Bussia which lies, like England, between 50^ 
and 55° north latitude, is a great deal colder than 
England in winter, and a great deal warmer in 



Yon will be surprised to hear that Bussians who 
come to England for the winter complain that they 
cannot ** stand the cold " of our country. The reason 
is that, while you might easily lose your nose by a 
bite from Jack Frost if you walked the streets of 
St. Petersburg in winter, the houses are kept far 
warmer than ours, by means of stoves and pipes, 
double windows and doors. 

Even the peasants have enormous high stoves, 
taking up more than half of their single living and 
sleeping-room, and standing high in the middle of 


114 BUSSIA. 

the floor. Do not suppose the space is wasted, how- 
ever. The top of the stove is — ^the family bed ! Up 
they all clamber, the men rolled in their sheepskins, 
which never leave their backs night or day for a 
week. What dirty people I you say. Not so fast ; 
they are clean once a week, at any rate, which is 
more than can be said for all English people. On 
Saturday afternoons you may see every soul in a 
Bussian village, man, woman, and child, trotting off, 
towels in hand, to the public baths. There they go 
through a real boiling process ; we should think our- 
selves killed if we had to endure the heat of these 
baths for ten minutes, but the Bussians enjoy it, and 
strangely enough, they often rush straight out of 
these steaming baths, naked as they are, to roll in 
the cold snow outside. 

You would suppose that Southern Bussia, in the 
same latitude as France, and washed by the Cas- 
pian and Black seas, must be really plcEisant. But 
here is a new kind of dreariness ; all the way from 
the borders of Austria and Turkey on the west, 
to the limits of the Chinese Empire on the east, 
stretch the steppes. These are long, dreary, treeless 
levels, over which a man might ride day after day for 
months without ever coming to the end of them, and 
to-day he would see exactly what he saw yesterday 
and the day before — a wide, wide waste of pathless 
snow in the winter ; an equally dreary waste of brown 
parched earth, upon which nothing grows, in the hot 

Notwithstanding all this dreariness in the north 
and south, Bussia is a famous corn-growing country ; 

ASIA. 115 

she not only produces enough for the use of her own 
people, but is able to send many shiploads abroad, to 
England and other countries which have less room to 
grow com for themselves. The middle of Bussia is 
this fertile, corn-growing district ; here, too, as well 
as in the north, there are immense forests, chiefly of 
pine, large enough in some cases to cover the whole 
of England. It is said that a squirrel might go 
from St. Petersburg to Moscow without ever touching 
the ground. 

We have no space to describe the fine buildings of 
St. Petersburg, the capital city, which is so grand 
that it is called a ^^ city of palaces " ; and we must 
pass by the old, half-eastern city of Moscow, the 
ancient capital. Nor have we left ourselves room to 
speak of the long, slow rivers of Bussia ; not even of 
the great Volga, the largest river in Europe, which 
bears tea, carpets, slippers, pipes, silks and stuffs, and 
a thousand other things, to the great world's fair at 
Nijni Novgorod. 



Asia is about five times as large as the adjoining 
continent of Europe, and the great features of the 
land are all on a larger scale ; it has wider plains, 
longer rivers, higher mountains, and, what is peculiar 
to Asia, a chain of high tablelands, which stretches 
almost across the continent from east to west 
In the square made by parallels 30 and 40, and 

I 2 


ABlk. 117 

meridians 70 and 80^ is the central monntain knot of 
Asia ; here is the lofty Pamir Steppe, called by the 
natives of this region •* the roof of the world " ; here 
are the Hindu Eush Mountains, and, branching from 
them towards the south-east, the Himalayas, the 
** abode of snow." To the north of the Hindu Kush 
is the Thian Shan range ; and stretching away from 
these to the very north-east point of Asia, to end in 
East Cape, are the Altai, Yablonoi, and Stanovoi 

The whole of Asia to the north of these monntain 
chains is a dreary low plain which belongs to Bussia, 
and is an extension of the great plain of Europe. So 
dreary is this country of Siberia that Bussia has few 
worse punishments for her prisoners than to send 
them to live and labour here. Much of it lies beyond 
the Arctic circle, and here the ice never fully thaws ; 
and the low frozen swamps called tundras^ which lie 
round the shores of the Arctic, can hardly be distin- 
guished in winter from the frozen waters of the ocean. 
The point whiSh stretches furthest towards the pole 
is Cape Severe or Chelyuskin. The Obi, Yenisei, 
and Lena, the three great rivers which enter the 
Arctic, are slow and dull and dreary as the land 
they flow through; for several months in the year 
their waters creep into the sea under a deep coating 
of ice. They are, however, navigated by Bussian 
steamers during the short, hot Arctic summer. 

This Siberian plain is very important to Bussia, 
not only because it is a hunting-ground where the 
sable and ermine, bear, wolf, and fox are hunted for 
their skins ; it also possesses valuable mines, and 

118 ABU, 

gold is found in many of the rivers. The '^ fur- 
country" is chiefly a broad belt of forest land in 
the west The peninsula of Eamtschatka on the east 
contains seyeral yolcanoes. 

On the west, the plain reaches to the south of the 
Caspian Sea, and this is a region almost as dreary as 
that round the Arctic. It is not frozen, but consists 
of sandy desert encrusted with salt and with many salt- 
water lakes ; these are supposed to be the remains of 
a great sea which once covered the whole district* 
Into one of these lakes, called the Sea of Aral^ two 
large rivers flow, the Amu Daria and the Syr Daria; 
and these and other rivers of this district never find 
their way into a sea connected with the ocean. 
Patches of brilliant green mark the spots where the 
rivers cross the desert, and these look all the more 
lovely in contrast with the barrenness around. 

Washed by the Black Sea on the north, and by the 
Mediterranean on the west, is a country with many 
mountains enclosing beautiful valleys, where all our 
garden fruits grow wild, and where arer great fields of 
roses grown to make " attar of roses." This country 
belongs to the Turks and is called Turkey in Asia ; 
and along its Mediterranean coast is the Holy Land. 

Its two great rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris, 
flow nearly side by side over the plain of Meso- 
potamia, and join together before they enter the 
Persian Gulf. These rivers are famous in history, 
because upon the plain which they water stood 
Nineveh and Babylon, the two great cities of the 
ancient world. 

A8TA. 119 



Asia, like Earope, has three great peniosulas on 
the gouth. Arabia, the most eastern of these, has 
the Bed Sea on one side and the Persian Gulf on 
another, and is a huge sandy peninsula without rivers. 
In the south is the Great Sandy Desert called 
Dahna, with here and there a green oasis sheltered 
by a few palm-trees marking the spot where springs 
of water bless the barren ground. Here the Bedouins 
wander, the wild shepherd Arabs who move their 
flocks from oasis to oasis in search of pasture, 
and who are the terror of travellers crossing the 

To the east of Arabia is Persia, which gives name 
to the Persian Gulf ; this was once a mighty king- 
dom, though it is not of great importance now. The 
Eang, or 8hahf visited England a few years ago, and 
his costly jewels were much admired ; these eastern 
lands are generally rich in jewels. Much of the 
country is desert, but, where fertile, this also is a 
land of delicious fruits and fragrant roses. The 
people are civilised, and are skilled in some arts. 

To the east of Persia, and lying partly between the 
60th and 70th meridians, are the three rugged coun- 
tries of Baluchistan, Afghanistan, and Turkistan, the 
people of which are chiefly occupied in rearing their 
flocks and herds. The sheep of Afghanistan have 

such broad fat taile that the ehepherdB make little 
cradles to support them ; this country is also the 
liorae of the long-haired cats which we call Persian. 

To the south-east of these is Hindostan or India — 
the central peninsula — a lai^ rich country, crowded 
with people and towns, nearly the whole of which 
belongs to England. The greater part of Hindostan 

lies within the torrid zone ; and here are elephants, 
lions, and tigers, and other beautiful savage creatnrea 
of tropical landa 

The peninsula has mountain ranges on either side, 
and a tableland in the middle ; its nortbem boundary 
is the great range of the Himalayas, containing the 
highest mountains in Asia. 

Ascending the Himalayas, we are upou the wide, 
high tableland of Tibet, to the north of which, and 
separated from it by a mountain chain, is a great 
sandy desert called the Oo&i or Shamo, both names 
meaning " sea of Band." 



Both desert and tableland are subject to China, 
the country in the east, where most of the tea used 
in the world is grown. The two largest rivers, 
the Yang-tse-kiang and the Hoang-ho, fall into the 
Yellow Sea. This is the land of " fiddle-faddle shoes 
one scarcely sees ; " the ladies have very tiny feet, 
and the gentlemen wear long hair plaited into pig^ 
tails. Mountain chains run across the country, and 
on the north you will see the Oreai Wall marked on 
the map; this is the longest wall which has ever 
been built, and it has been considered one of the 
wonders of the world. China and the countries 
subject to it form an empire. Hong Kong, a beauti- 
ful little island off the coast, belongs to Britain, and 
many British merchants live there. 

The third southern peninsula ends in a curious 
long tongue which nearly reaches the equator ; there 
are several countries in it, but the whole is known as 
Further India. The western provinces belong to 
England. Delicious sugar-candy is made in Cochin 
China, the country most to the east. 

Japan, a kingdom made up of the islands beyond 
the Japan Sea, is another crowded and busy country 
of Asia. There are so many Japanese things in 
England, trays and boxes, and various ornaments, that 
most likely you are familiar with some of them. The 
people are fond of reading, and print many strange- 
looking books with odd pictures. Until quite lately, 
Europeans were not allowed to enter the kingdom, 
but now the Japanese are anxious to become as 
learned and as skilful as some of the nations of 
Europe and America; young Japanese have been 


sent abroad to learn, and foreign teachers are made 
welcome in Japan. 

Not one of the nations of Asia is Christian, and 
the people are in many ways very unlike Europeans; 
they have generally yellow or brownish skins, and 
the men for the most part wear loose flowing 

Questions on the Map of Asia. 

1. Name five seas on the east of Asia. 

2. What sea is between the Japan islands and the continent ? 
8. What peninsula is on the north-east of Asia? 

4. Name three great peninsulas on the south. 

5. What empire oocupies aU the north of Asia ? 

6. What other great empire occupies the east ? 

7. Name four countries in the western half of the continent. 

8. What sea, and what mountain chains divide Asia from 

9. What ocean washes the south of Asia? The north? The 

10. Name a cape upon each of these oceans^ 

11. What large bay divides the two great southern peninsulas ? 
What island lies off the point of India? 

12. What four countries form Further India, the most eastward 
of these peninsulas ? 

13. What waters are on the east and the west of Arabia ? How 
is the Bed Sea entered ? 

14. Which side of Asia has the most broken coast ? Off which 
coast are there many islands ? 

15. Give the three names of the mountain range which stretches 
across the continent from the Pamir Steppe to the north-east 

16. What great desert lies to the south of these mountains, and 
what mountains border the desert on the south ? 

17. To the south of this desert is a large country which is a 
high table-land. Name it, and say by what mountains it is bounded 
on the south. 

18. How many great rivers rise in this table-land? Through 
what countries do they flow ? Name three of them. 

PEBSIA. 123 

19. Wliat great river rises in the Himalayas, and flows into the 
Bay of Bengal ^ 

20. What river rises in the Pamir Steppe, and flows into the 
Sea of Aral? 

21. The Euphrates and Tigris flow close together through 
Torkey in Asia. Into what waters do they fall ? 

22. What great river rises in the Altai mountains, and flows 
into the Arctic Ocean ? Name its large tributary. 

23. What two other great rivers flow into the Arctic ? 

24. Between what points would you measure the greatest length 
of Asia ? About how long is it between these points ? 

25. Where would you measure the greatest breadth? About 
how broad is the continent there ? 

26. What parts of Asia are mountainous? What parts are 

27. Name the southern countries of Asia. The eastern? The 
central ? The northern ? 

28. Name two great rivers of India; two great rivers of China ; 
three of Siberia. 



Most people tliink of Persia as a land of nightiiigales 
and roses, of orchards and delightful flower-gardens ; 
a land where peaches, plums, cherries, almonds — our 
choicest garden fruits — grow wild. It is true there 
are bowers of roses, and groves of fruit-trees, and 
banks of bright-coloured, fragrant plants in the 
mountain yalleys, which are watered by hundreds of 
rills, and are sweet with the perfume of many flowers. 
And there are many of these valleys, for Persia is 
skirted by mountain ranges on every side but the 
east ; generally, several of these ranges run in a line 
with one another, so that the mountain district often 

124 PBBSIA. 

measures 200 miles across. There is a low, desert 
plain between the mountains and the Persian Gulf; 
and another low plain, very fertile, but unhealthy, 
between the mountains and the Caspian ; and this is 
nearly all which lies outside of the mountains. 

Within this mountain girdle, what shall we find ? 
We climb a steep ascent until we reach a pass, one of 
the fair and fertile valleys we have spoken of, where 
perhaps the land spreads out into a wide platform, 
and there are villages and orchards and pure streams. 
This pass only opens into another valley, and there 
IS another and another mountain chain beyond ; and 
we must make a long journey through several passes^ 
some of them at a great height — several thousand 
feet above the sea-level — before we reach that which 
lies within the mountains. 

We shall be wise not to hasten our journey ; let 
us linger in the delightful valleys, or among the black 
tents of the wandering shepherd tribes which we 
shall find on the mountain slopes. 

You think, perhaps, that Central Persia, so diffi- 
cult to get at, surrounded thus by a bodyguard of 
mountains, should be indeed a garden of roses and 
all delights. Examine the map ; you may see one 
or two straggling lines to mark waterways, which 
appear to end nowhere ; but in all the great space 
enclosed by the mountains there is not a single river 
which reaches the sea; worse still, in the greater 
part of this district no rain ever falls. It is not sur- 
prising to see " Great Salt Desert " filling up the 
north-eastern comer of the map; a land which is 
without water cannot fail to be desert This dreary 

PEB8IA. 125 

waste stretches over thousands of square miles, and is 
in some parts coated over with a layer of salt, which 
is often an inch thick ; indeed, the whole of Persia, 
excepting on the borders of the Caspian Sea and 
among the mountains, is dry and barren, and is more 
or less a desert. 

The coasts of the Gulf are burning sandy solitudes 
where little or no rain falls ; and here the mountains 
bring no relief. These are awful mountains, high, 
hot, and barren, and the valleys between them are 
burning and barren, and rise like steps, six or seven 
of them, from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the 
tableland. For the last of the passes does not lead 
you into a valley ; the mountains are but the sides of 
a high tableland which stretches into the lands that 
border Persia on the east, and is about as high as 
our highest English mountains. 

The inhabitants of the tableland and of many of 
the mountain valleys are a wandering people called 
lUyats, who dwell in tents and live by keeping cattle 
and sheep. In the cold winter months they and their 
cattle find food and shelter on the plains or in the 
valleys; in summer they seek the cool mountain 

The true Persia/ns live mostly in the cities, which 
are generally poor-looking, the houses being very 
mean, and iJie streets narrow and irregular. The 
bazaars, however, ^are well worth seeing; here are 
beautiful embroidered silks and delicate muslins, rich 
velvets, china, costly shawls, manufactured from the 
long wool of a certain goat, jewelry, perfumes, sabres 
—all made by the Persians, who are a skilful and 

126 ABABIA. 

ingenious people. Their nch, thick silks are very 
much admired ; and the mulberry is lai^y grown 
in the north, to feed the silkworm. The Persians 
are a gay, lively race, fond of poetry and song, and 
extremely polite ; but they are not considered sincere 
or truthful. 



All round the coast of Arabia there is a strip of 
sandy desert, terribly hot and dry ; backing this, on 
the Bed Sea side, are high mountain chains with 
beautiful valleys, where there are streams and 
groves and orchards, and the precious date-palm; 
and where coffee is grown. Beyond the mountains 
there is desert in the north, desert in the south — a 
wilderness so awful that the Arabs themselves dare 
not venture into its horrid depths — sandy, burning 
desert everywhere, except for a mountainous district 
in the middle of the country, where many Arabs 

Many tribes also dwell in the desert — even, it is 
said, in the terrible wilderness of the south. You 
need not pity them ; they pity their brethren who 
dwell in the towns, and the inhabitants of lands 
where these burning solitudes do not exist, for they 
think no life so lordly, so happy, as the free life of 
the desert. How do they live? you ask. Here and 
there the desert yields some herbage ; this is scanty 
enough, but by wandering from place to place 

^ J 

ABABIA. 127 

according to the season, they do manage to find 
pasture for their flocks. In the oases — sunken, 
rocky valleys where there are springs and green 
herbage and date-palm — ^they may linger long ; and 
these oases are frequent enough to make it possible 
for caravans to cross the desert 

These are made up of persons who have business 
at the distant towns, and travel together for safety 
upon camels, which carry, also, food and water for the 
journey, and merchandise for sale. The Bedomns, 
the wandering Arabs of the desert, find these cara* 
vans profitable in more than one way : a company 
of them is hired to go with the caravan and pro- 
tect it ; or, on the other hand, they lie in wait to 
plunder the merchants, of whose coming they know 

Others besides the bom sons of the desert find 
pleasure in this strange wilderness life; travellers 
say it is so unlike anything they have known before, 
that the hardships of a desert journey are made up 
for by the pleasure of novelty. 

Mr. Warburton thus describes such an expedi- 
tion : — " As long as you are journeying in the 
interior of the desert you have no p£u*ticular point 
to make for as your resting-place. The endless 
sands yield nothing but small stunted shrubs ; even 
these fail after the first two or three days, and from 
that time you pass through valleys dug out by the 
last week's storm, and the hills and the valleys are 
sand, sand, still sand, and only sand, and sand again. 
The earth is so samely, that you turn your eyes 
towards heaven; you look to the sun; he comes 

128 ARABIA. 

when you strike your tent in the early morning, and 
then, for the first hour of the day, as you move for- 
ward on your camel, he stands at your near side and 
makes you feel that the whole day's toil is before 
you. Then for a while, and a long while, you see 
him no more, for you are veiled and shrouded, and 
dare not look upon the greatness of his glory, but 
you know where he strides overhead by the touch of 
his flaming sword. 

"No words are spoken, but your Arabs moan, 
your camels sigh, your skin glows, your shoulders 
ache, and for sights you see the pattern and the web 
of the silk that veils your eyes, and the glare of the 
outer light. Time labours on, and by-and-by the 
descending sun softly touches your right arm, and 
throws your lan^ shadow over the sand. 

"Then begins your season of rest The world 
about you is all your own, and there, where you will, 
you pitch your solitary tent ; and there is no living 
thing to dispute your choice. When at last the spot 
had been fixed upon, and we came to a halt, one of the 
Arabs would touch the chest of my camel and utter 
at the same time a peculiar gurgling sound. The 
beast instantly understood and obeyed the sign, and 
slowly sank under me, till she brought her body to a 
level with the ground, then gladly enough I alighted. 
The rest of the camels were unloaded and turned 
loose to browse upon the shrubs of the desert, where 
shrubs there were : or where these failed, to wait for 
the small quantity of food that was allowed them out 
of our stores." 

At its northern end the Eed Sea forms two gulfs ; 

ARABIA. 129 

between these two gulfs is a small peninsulay and in 
this peninsula is the WUdemesa of Sinai, the desert 
in which the children of Israel wandered for forty 

The Arabs are all Mahometans : Mahomet him- 
self, the founder of this faith, was an Arab, bom in the 
town of Mecca; wherefore this town, as also Medina, 
where the prophet was buried, are sacred spots which 
every Mussulman must visit at least once in his life. 
This leads to the Hc^\ the great yearly pilgrimage of 
Moslems from half over the world, from Africa, 
Turkey, Persia, India, Central Asia, who gather in 
huge caravans, and pitch thousands of tents outside 
the two sacred cities. The pilgrims take certain daily 
walks round the sacred mosque where once Mahomet 
sat and taught, make many prayers, drink often of the 
sacred well, and kiss the holy Black Stone. All these 
rites ended, they prepare to take their way home 
again through the weary deserts by which they came. 
Not all of them, however ; many of the poorer sort, 
worn out with the hardships of the way, just drag 
themselves to the pavement of the great mosque to 
die where their prophet died ; all day long, whil^ 
the Haj lasts, men are engaged in burying these 
friendless pilgrims* 

We must not quit Arabia without noticing Ad£N» 
a very strong fortress on a barren, sandy spot, near 
the entrance of the Bed Sea, which belongs to Great 
Britain. Steamers bound for India, which have 
come through the Suez Canal and the Bed Sea, stop 
at Aden to take in fresh supplies of coal. 





We all know a good deal about India : Indian shawls 
and Indian trinkets, work-boxes made of the scented 
sandalwood, and chess-men curiously carved in iyory; 
make us think of India as a land of rare and delicate 

Probably we have seen some dusky-faced ayah 
(nurse), shivering in the graceful foreign dress she 
mil not be persuaded to give up. She has come 
here with^her nursling, some poor, pale, English 
baby, born under the hot sun of India, which has 
proved as trying to him as the frosts of England are 
to his Indian nurse. There are many English people 
in India, who are generally rich — -judges and rulers 
of the people, officers in the aimy, and merchants — 
though there are also English soldiers and artizans. 
Most of the English residents try to escape to the 
hills before the hot season sets in ; for then the heat 
is intense, and a huge fan, called a ptrnkah, is kept 
constantly mov;ing in every house. 

You will see by the map that much of India is 
within the tropics ; and, throughout the country, the 
year is divided, as in all tropical lands, into a wet and 
a dry season. The hot season begins about March ; 
then the scorching rays of the sun destroy every 
green thing ; there is never a cloud to deaden the 
glare unless it be a cloud of dust, which the hot dry 
wind has raised from the parched earth ; everything 
you touch is hot — wood, iron, stone. At last, about 


r jf-fD r A y ocean 


the beginning of June, heavy clouds begin to roll 
across the sky, and then follows a thunder-storm, 
such as is never known in temperate regions^ with 
much wind and torrents of rain. 

When the thunder ceases, nothing is heard but 
the pouring of the rain, which comes down in a 
steady stream. The river channels soon overflow, 
and rushing streams add to the sound of waters 
everywhere. After several days the sky clears, 
and it would seem as if the parched earth had 
been covered with a magical mantle of green. The 
change is as great as if the bare brown fields of 
February in England were suddenly to burst into the 
green freshness of May. The rains continue to fall 
from time to time until September, when they 
depart amidst thunder and lightning as they cama 
This rainy season is called the Wet Monsoon^ a 
word which means "season." The period which 
follows the rains is the coolest and pleasantest time 
of the year. 

We have spoken of the great numbers of English 
people who live in India, not for pleasure, but 
because they have some kind of employment there* 
Perhaps you know the reason ; this mighty country, 
as large as half of Europe, belongs to England ! It is 
not quite right, however, to speak of India as a single 
country ; it is a sort of continent in itself containing 
many nations, the people of which speak as many as 
thirty different languages. Our Queen has lately 
been declared Empress of India, as it was thought 
proper that the sovereign of so many states should be 
an empress. And a very splendid empire India is. 


" From the line of the Himalaya southward to the 
extreme cape on the Indian Ocean, India occupies a 
space more thsLU fifteen times as large as our island 
of Britain ; a journey across it from north to south, 
or from east to west (about 1800 miles), would 
require half a year if one travelled ten miles every 

The story of how this great empire came to belong 
to England is too long to tell. India had long been 
known as a land where the merchants might load 
their ships with precious cargoes — ^gold and precious 
stones, silk embroidery, and ivory. In a.d. 1600, a 
company of London merchants got a charter from 
Queen Elizabeth, which gave them the sole right of 
trading in all seas east of the Gape of Good Hope. 
No trade was so profitable as that with India, and 
by and by these merchants gained permission from 
the native princes to build, here and there, ware- 
houses for their goods, and fortresses to protect 
them. They formed these trading places at Surat, 
Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay. 

For a hundred years or more, this company of 
merchants, called the " East India Company," carried 
on their trade, but did not gain much power. 

The Emperors of India at that time were called 
the Great Moguls ; they had many native princes 
under them who often rebelled, and the European 
settlers, French and English, were called upon to 
help one side or the other. The English merchants 
generally sent their soldiers to the aid of the Great 
Mogul. In the course of one quarrel, the Nabob 
Surajah Dowlah took the English town of Calcutta. 


The horrible crime of the " Black Hole of Calcutta " 
followed. One handled and forty-six persons were 
shut up in a room twenty feet square. The air-holes 
were small. It was in the height of summer, when 
the fierce heat of Bengal can hardly be borne by 
natives of England, even when they dwell in lofty 
halls, and are cooled by the constant waving of fans, 
A night of agonies, too frightful to describe, followed. 
In the morning, only twenty-three wretched beings 
were drawn out alive from among the dead bodies of 
their comrades. 

This event added, in the end, very much to the 
power of England in India. 

In the following year, 1757, Colonel dive, a great 
statesman and soldier, defeated Surajah Dowlah in 
the famous battle of Plassey, when 3000 men were 
victorious over 60,000 of the enemy. 

This victory added the fertile country of Bengal^ 
which now includes nearly the whole of Northern 
India, to the English. 

At the present time, the East India Company has 
been done away with, and the Empress Victoria rules 
over India. She appoints a Oovemor-OenercU to live 
in India and act for her there. The three great 
governments of British India are celled Presidencies; 
these are, Bengal in the north, Madras in the east^ 
and Bombay in the west. These cover the greater 
part of India. There is no longer a Great Mogul, but 
there are still many native princes, most of whom, 
however, are subject to the English Govemor- 
Generalt There are two free states among the 
northern mountains, Nepal and Bhotan ; and France 


and Portugal have also a few scattered poaaessions. 
Witli theae ezceptioiiB, India is nnder ttie rule of 
Qteai Britain. 


Hiin>08TAN has on tlie north the lofty chain of the 
Himalaya Mountains, or rather, the vast tableland 
of Tibet, of which this range forms the aonthem 
border. Six of these mountains are fully five miles 

in height, and one of them, Mount EvereBt, ia the 
highest mountain in the world (29,002 feet). 

Are you trying to im^ine how awfnl it must be 
to look up a mountain-wall five miles in height, high 


enough, you might think, to touch the sky? The 
Himalayas do not tower above the plain in this awfal 
way, and nowhere do they look astonishingly high, 
because the snowy summits can only be seen from 
a great distance, which causes them to seem low. 
From the base of the mountains, only their slopes 
are to be seen, which are coyered with various forest 
trees, and, higher up, with rhododendrons. A traveller 
who tries to cross this mighty ridge, which is three 
hundred and fifty miles in width, finds himself con? 
stantly shut in between the crags, and only now and 
then gets a glimpse of countless snowy peaks, and of 
wide glaciers. 

In these high snowfields rise the three great rivers 
of India, the Indus, the Ganges, and the Bramah* 
pootra, which water the low plain at the foot of the 
mountains. This low plain stretches right across 
the country, and the greater part of it is exceedingly 
rich and fertile. 

The Ganges is the sacred river of the Hindoos, 
who make it part of their religion to bathe in its 
waters. For tliis purpose there are grand flights of 
steps leading down to the river from some of the 
to\¥ns ; and upon these steps swarm crowds of the 
slight, dark-skinned Hindoos in their light cotton 
dothing. None are more crowded than the hand* 
nsome steps at Benares, a sacred city in which there 
are more than a thousand idol-temples. 

The melting of the mountain snows causes the 
rivers to overflow and flood the plain ; and the rich 
mud they leave behind makes the fields fertile for the 
rice crops which support most of the people of Indian 


The towns and villages swarm with people, and 
most of these are engaged in tilling the soil ; but 
they are not clever farmers by any means; their 
rude ploughs are drawn by oxen, and they reap their 
crops with the sickle. The soil, however, is very 
fertile, and yields cotton, sugar, delicious fruits, and 
several kinds of com. The fields and gardens are 
full of scented flowers, and every village stands 
among groups of the shady mango-tree, which yields 
a refreshing fruit, and of the wonderful banyan. 

This tree, which the Hindoos consider sacred, is a 
forest in itself; the branches produce long shoots 
which descend to the ground and penetrate the soil ; 
so that in course ^f time a single tree becomes a vast 
green tent supported by many columns. No fewer 
than three hundred stems, each thicker than the 
trunk of a large oak, and more than three thousand 
smaller ones have been counted in a single tree. 
The fruit of the banyan is of a rich scarlet colour, 
and about the size of a cherry ; it is eaten by the 
monkeys ; and multitudes of these live, with birds 
and enormous bats^ in the thick forest of its 

An English child must think with terror of the 
dangers which surround an Indian village. There, 
the cry of the jackal would disturb his night, the 
fierce tiger might pounce upon him, some huge and 
deadly serpent, as the cobra, might wind about his 
body, or, if he ventured near the banks of the river, 
the jaws of the terrible crocodile might open to 
receive him. Nowhere are these dangers greater than 
in the district called the StmderhundSf which is the 


hanot of wild beasts. Yoa will see by the map that 
the Ganges divides into many months before it reaches 
the sea, and the land between these, the delta of the 
river, is low and marshy and covered with jangle, that 
18, thickly matted, low-growing wood, where the 

beasts are safe, because men cannot easily penetrate. 
This district is called the Sunderhtrndg. 

' Very few of the mouths of the Granges afford pas- 
sage for ships, bat npon the Hooghly, which is the 
most navigable, stands the great town of Calcutta, the 
" city of palaces," which is the most important town 
of British India. The " palaces " and grand honsea 


and gardens belong only to that part of the city in 
which the English people liye ; the suburbs where 
the Hindoos swarm are yery poor and mean. One 
of the strange sights of the city is the stately elephant 
inarching through the streets with the howdah on his 
back, containing eight or ten persons ; the driver sits 
perched upon his neck. 

There are many other famous towns in this valley 
of the Ganges, which is the richest and most fertile 
part of India. Dacca, which stands where the 
mouths of the Brahmapootra join those of the Ganges, 
was once famous for its beautiful muslins, so soft and 
fine that they received the name of " flowing water." 
Fatna gives its name to the best kind of Indian rice. 
Lucknow is famous for a terrible siege. Upon the 
Jumna, a tributary of the Ganges, are Agra and 
Delhi ; the latter was celebrated once for its wonderful 
silks embroidered with gold. The natives of India 
are exceedingly clever with their fingers, and some 
of their manufactures are much more beautiful and 
perfect than English people can produce by means of 



The Indus ^drains the North-west of India. The 
northern part of its valley is a fertile district, 
watered by five rivers, all of which join the Indus j 



this district is called the Punjab, a name which 
means "fiye rivers." It affords pasture for vast 
herds of camels, cattle, sheep, and goats. Then 
follows a dreary tract, the Great Indian Desert, which 
is twice as large as Britain, and is covered with wave- 
like ridges of sand, and can, for the most part, only 
be crossed by camels. On the coast there is a curious 
stretch of level land called the Eunn of Eutch. This 
is a salt desert, which the sea overspreads dilring the 
wet monsoon. 

Southern India, the peninsula, is occupied for the 
most part by a wide tableland called the Deccan, 
which is marked by waving treeless plains, flat- 
topped hills, and wide stretches of jungle. This 
tableland has, on either side, ranges of hills called 
Ghats or Ghauts. The Western Ghats are bold 
and rugged, and are covered with forests of teak, 
which affords a very hard kind of timber used in 
shipbuilding. Bombay, the capital of the Bombay 
Presidency, is the most important town on the 
western coast; it is a most unhealthy place for 
Europeans. The Eastern Ghats are much lower 
than the Western, and run at a greater distance from 
the sea. Between them and the Bay of Bengal is a 
low plain called the Carnatic, which would be very 
fertile but for the want of water. The Presidency 
of Madras lies along this coast, and the town of 
Madras is its capitaL The Deccan has the Vindhya 
Hills on the north, and the Nilgiri Hills, upon which 
coffee is largely grown, on the south. 

Off the south point of India, and divided from it 
by Palk's Strait, is the delightful island of Ceylon, 


the '^ jewel of the eastern seas.'* So lovely is Ceylon 
that the Mahometans belieye, here was the Para- 
dise in which Adam and Eve dwelt. Upon Adam's 
Peak, the highest mountain in the island, is a mark 
like the print of a huge human foot ; and the legend 
is that before he left this paradise, Adam climbed 
the mountain to take a last fond look, and that his 
footprint remained in the rock. Coffee plantations 
cover the lower slopes of the hills, and higher up 
are forests hung with beautiful creepers. The date* 
palm, cinnamon, spices, and sugar, are among the 
rich products of this island where " every prospect 
pleases " ; and there is a famous pearl-fishery off the 
coast. Ceylon, more than any other part of the 
world, abounds with precious stones. We must not 
leave India without a word about its gems; diamonds, 
rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are found in various 
parts. The most famous of Indian gems is the 
£oh-i-noor, the largest diamond in the world, which 
is now in the possession of our Queen. 

A good deal ofFurther India, the curiously shaped 
peninsula to the east of the Bay of Bengal, belongs 
to England. Bbitish Burma is the long strip of 
country along the north coast, containing the enor- 
mous delta of the Irrawadi. In this low country, 
cut up by many streams, are huge rice-fields ; and 
the wooden huts of the people are raised high upon 
piles to save them from destruction by the river 
floods. Bangoon, the capital city, swarms with the 
gaily clothed, merry-looking natives. Further south, 
near the end of the peninsula, is Malacca, a British 
settlement about as large as a small English county. 


Malacca exports tapioca and sago« Sikgapobe is 6 
rich and pleasant island off the point which also 
belongs to Britain. 

LESSON xxzvn. 


Febeulps China is, to us, the most interesting of 
eastern countries. Our cup of tea is a cup of fellow- 
ship with the natives of the " Flowery Land "; and 
we feel kindly towards the people who produce the 
precious plan^ and who enjoy the infusion even more 
than we do. Then the Chinese are such queer folk, 
that is to say, their customs are so unlike our own, 
that we find information about themselves and their 
country very amusing. 

We know that John Chinaman rejoices in a pig- 
tail, made of his own hair or somebody else's, which 
reaches nearly to his ankles ; that he begins to read 
or write at the bottom instead of at the top of the 
page, at the right-hand comer instead of at the left ; 
that he likes the finger-nails of his left hand to be 
enormously long, in order to show that he does no 
hard work ; and that, even when he is an old man; 
he finds much pleasure in flying a kite. Facts like 
these amuse us, but perhaps we do not know much 
about the appearance of the country, or the way in 
which the people live. 

Besides China Proper, the Chinese Empire includes 
certain large and little known countries to the north 


and west. One of these is the Corea, the peDinsnla 
which partly shuts in the Yellow Sea ; it has its own 
king, and only pays a small annual tribute in silver 
to the Emperor of China. It is supposed that there 
are no Christians in the country. 

To the north of the Corea is Manchuria, whose 
people conquered China two centuries ago, and 
placed a Manchu soyereign at the head of the 
Celestial Empire. These three eastern countries, 
China, Corea, and Manchuria, are full of industrious 
people who dwell in houses, and either till the soil 
or gather together in busy trading towns. 

Mongolia is an enormous country, which stretches 
westward as far as the Thian-shan Mountains. Here 
the people dwell neither in towns nor Tillages ; they 
have no houses, and they do not till the land, but 
live in yurts, or tents, and wander about with their 
herds over the grassy lands at the foot of the 
mountains which shut in this tableland of Mongolia. 
A great part of this country is occupied by an 
enormous stony desert, called the Gobi or Shamo, 
which is 2000 miles in length and 500 in width; 
this desert is full of terror to the Chinese, who 
imagine it to be peopled with giants and dwarfis and 
evil goblins. 

Tibet is, like Mongolia, a yast tableland; but 
while Mongolia is between 3000 and 4000 feet above 
the leyel of the sea (that is, the whole country 
is about as high as the highest of the British 
mountains), Tibet, which is about eight times as 
large as Great Britain, is raised on the average from 
11,000 to 15,000 feet above the sea-level, that is, 


taken altogether, the whole region is as high as 
the highest peaks among the Alps. Here are bare 
grassy plains where herds of wild asses and antelopes 
feed, and the great long-legged wild sheep, whose 
horns are " so large that the fox is said to take np his 
abod^ in their hollows when detached and bleaching 
on the barren mountains of Tibet." Great lakes lie 
in these grassy plains; and, among the mountain 
snows, the famous rivers of India and China take 
their rise. The Tibetans are governed for the most 
part by their priests, who are called lamas, and live 
together in large monasteries, which are often rich 
and splendid ; in one of these, which is famous for 
its gold-roofed temple, more than three thousand 
priests dwell. The people are, for the most part, 
wandering herdsmen, like those of Mongolia; they 
are only in very slight subjection to China. 

Having noticed the countries which form part of 
the great Chinese Empire, we return to China itself, 
— a land which teems with people, containing more 
than 400 millions of inhabitants. 

China consists of one long slope of more than a 
thousand miles, reaching from the Yun-ling or Snowy 
Mountains on the west, to the shores of the Pacific 
on the east. Mighty rivers drain this slope, the chief 
of them being the Yang-tse-kiang, 3000 miles in 
length, and the yellow Hoang-ho, both of which take 
their rise in the mountains of Tibet. These rivers 
bring down much earth in their course, and, when 
they overflow their banks, spread a rich coating of 
river mud over the low plains of the coast. In this 
way the Great Plain of China, which reaches &om 


the city of Peking to the city of Nanking, has been 
made one of the most fertile regions in the world. 

Not alone to natural causes does China owe the 
great fertility of its soil ; there are no such diligent 
farmers in the world as the Chinese. They are not 
clever like the Scotch in inventing new plans, and 
in making use of machines ; everything is done in 
China as it has been done for two thousand years ; all 
farming work is done by hand, with no better imple- 
ments than the spade and the hoe. Horses are 
never employed, because they eat too much, and 
there are so many people in China that every inch of 
ground is made use of to grow food for them ; there- 
fore, as there are no grass fields, there are but few of 
the creatures which generally live upon grass, such 
as horses, cows, and sheep. 

Because they produce food for the people, farmers 
are held in high honour in China ; only the learned 
men take higher rank, and these are quite the 
principal people, the noblemen or mandarins of the 

The mulberry, rice, and the tea-plant yield the 
crops upon which the Chinese bestow the most labour ; 
rice is the most important of these, because upon 
this crop the people mainly depend for food. Eice 
requires a great deal of moisture, so it is grown 
chiefly round the lower courses of the great rivers, 
and under the hot sun of Southern China. 

The Chinese farmer is never at a loss for water 
to flood his paddy (or rice) fields, for canals are as 
common in the great plain of China as roads are in 
England ; indeed, there are few good roads beyond 

146 THs cKLsaTiAi. EKPHti. 

the towDB, and do railroads, as all the carrying and 
travelling are done by water. The Imperial Canal 
is one of the most bmoos public works of China ; 
it connects the rivers Hoang-ho and Yang-tse-kiang, 
and 18 700 miles in length. By means of this canal 
it ia possible to go in a jnnk from Canton, the great 
eoutbern port, to the royal city of Peking in the 
north, with only one interruption. 

We are all familiar with the clumsy appearance 
of the Chinese junk, and perhaps we know the story 

of bow a certAin Chinese emperor, on being asked for 
a pattern for boats which should last for all time, 
took off his shoe, wherefore, upon that pattern all 
junks have been made ever since ; but, though it is 
not a graceful object, the mandarin-junk offers a very 
pleasant and comfortable means of travelling. 


LESSOV xxzvin. 


HoNa-KONG, the Chinese for "sweet water/' is 
a beautiful island ; and the broad, well-kept, very 
clean streets of the town of Victoria show that the 
island is British, or at any rate, is not Chinese. The 
streets are eyery where planted with fine trees, which 
afford some shelter from the rays of the sun. The 
port is crowded with vessels of every shape and size, 
the most interesting of which are the junks ; one 
end of these rises like a house, with windows and 
doors, two storeys above the water. 

All Chinese cities are very much alike ; a rather 
shabby wall of blue bricks surrounds the whole ; the 
houses are low, generally only one storey high, and 
never more than two; and the pagodas, or idol 
temples, which are sometimes as much as nine storeys 
high, tower above every other building, for it is not 
lawful in China to build houses as high as temples. 
The streets are narrow and not very clean, but are 
always lively, and filled with jostling crowds of good- 
humoured Chinamen ; how they manage to pass one 
another in their broad bamboo hats, the brims of 
which are often a yard across, is a marvel. The narrow 
streets are not, however, blocked up by wheeled 
carriages or carts; the eooiiea carry everything — 
timber, stone, iron, rice, whatever has to be moved ; 
and they bear the rich people aloft on their shoulders 
in palanquins, or sedan chairs. 

L 2 

148 A7BICA. 

Coolie and mandarin alike have yellow com* 
plexions, narrow black eyes, small round noses, and 
plaited tails of hair; both wear long bine robes 
reaching nearly to their feet, but the coolie's blouse 
is of cotton, while the rich man wears dark blue silk, 
and his loosely-fitting silken trousers hang oyer black 
satin shoes with thick white soles, which are turned 
up at the toes like a boat. The lady's dress is yery 
like her husband's, only that her robe is usually of 
pink or green silk, with wide flowing sleeves' lined 
with satin and splendidly embroidered ; but the lady 
is rarely seen abroad, as her tiny cramped feet, 
called in China *' golden lilies," are not of much use 
in walking. 




Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean, and 
from Asia by the Bed Sea, is Africa, the hottest of 
the continents, the greater part of which lies within 
the tropics, which, as you will recollect, enclose the 
torrid or burning zone. 

This continent is the home of the huge hippopo- 
tamus and rhinoceros ; here wild elephants roam in 
herds, and are hunted for the precious ivory of their 
tusks ; here are the swift-footed zebra and the 
graceful antelope, and apes of many kinds. Here 
the tall giraffe stretches its neck to gather the tender 
top shoots of the palm; and in forest and desert 
prowl the beasts of prey which aVe the terror of the 



fey ';wt 

S I A 






1 ?^5¥ 










I N D 


? . . 

. "'«". T , . " 




150 AJEIOA. 

rest — the lion and panther, jackal and hyena. The 
fleet ostrich skims the deserts of Africa, and the 
crocodile suds itself in the mud of its rirer banks. 
Oa these warm shores the swallow and the caokoo 


find another summer when our winter cold has 
driven them away ; and this is the native home of 
the black-sklDDed, woolly-haired Negro race. 

The map shows that the sea nowhere finds it way 
far into the continent, that there ate few mighty 
rivers, and that the mountain ranges run, generally, 
near the coast. For these reasons it is very difficult 
to reach the interior of Africa, and a great part of 

AFBIOA. 151 

it is yet unknown, though there is no quarter of 
the globe that travellers have laboured more to 

The courses of the rivers generally guide these 
explorers; and many lives have been lost in the 
attempt to find the source of the Nile, the famous 
river in the east which flows into the Mediterranean, 
Bruce, the great traveller, discovered the source of 
the branch called the "Blue Nile," and other travellers 
have found that the White Nile passes through a 
lake upon the equator which they have named the 
Victoria Nyanza, after our Queen. 

Dr. Livingstone, a brave missionary and explorer, 
was killed by the hardships and dangers he had to 
endure while searching for the true source of the 

And great, indeed, are those dangers : in many 
places the explorers must make their way through 
marshes into which they sink shoulder deep, often 
having at the same time to hew paths for themselves 
through the thick growth of marsh plants. Hours 
of toil in such mud baths as these under a burning 
sun commonly end in fever, and this is often 
a fated sickness. Then, too, there are the native 
tribes to be dreaded, so savage in parts of Africa that 
they eat the flesh of men ; and even where the 
natives are friendly, the fearful wild beasts of forest 
and jungle are continually " seeking their meat." 

Though so little is know of its beginning, no 
river is more famous in the history of the world 
than the Nile in its lower course. It was in this 
river that Pharaoh's daughter came to bathe when 


she found the infant Moses ; and upon its banks is 
Egypt, the country of the Pharaohs, where Joseph 
stored the com against times of famine. Com grows 
freely in this land, because the Nile overflows its 
banks for many miles on either side every year, and 
leaves a thick bed of rich black mud for the corn 
seeds. No rain falls in the greater part of Egypt, 
and the river supplies the only water. 

The fertile valley and delta of the Nile are shut in 
by burning deserts, and the fresh green of the 
springing com looks all the more beautiful by con- 
trast. Far and wide over the level delta in harvest 
time there waye fields of wheat and rice, sugar- 
cane and cotton. In other parts are rich pastures 
dotted with herds of cattle, asses, sheep, and goats. 

Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is the greatest city in 
all Africa. It contains an immense number of 
houses, with narrow crooked streets, over which the 
slim tapering minarets of hundreds of mosques rise 
like a forest. A crowd of people of all nations 
moves through its streets and bazaars. In 1869 
the cutting of the Suez Ship-canal from the Mediter- 
ranean to the Bed Sea was completed, and now about 
fifteen hundred great ships pass through this channel 
every year. Port Said, a modern town, stands at the 
Mediterranean entrance. 

Going up the Nile from Cairo the first objects that 
attract attention are the great pyramids of Gizeh. 
These are huge buildings erected by the Pharaohs, 
the purpose of which it is diflScult to discover ; for 
enormous as they are, there is not room within 
them for a man to stand upright. It is supposed 


ATBIGA. 153 

they were partly intended for royal tombs. They 
are broad at the base, and gradually taper to a 

Nubia, which lies higher up the river, is included 
in Egypt; here the banks of the Nile are so high 
that the river never overflows, but the country is 
watered by regular rains. Nubia is famous for its 
fierce lions. 

To the south of Nubia is Abyssinia, a fertile and 
plesusant country, which consists of a lofty tableland 
with many mountains and lakes, and valleys where 
the sugar-cane, cotton, coffee, corn, and various fruits 
grow freely. Abyssinia has a rainy season which 
lasts for several months. The people are of a brown 
colour, becoming almost white in the north; have 
curved noses and bright eyes, and are brave, active, 
and clever. They know how to make leather and to 
forge iron, and are acquainted with some other 
arts; but their chief wealth consists in their 

There are five states along the Mediterranean 
which are inhabited by two rather fair races, — the 
Arabs, who live in towns and occupy themselves in 
trading; and the Berbers, who live in tents and 
tend cattle. These are the States of Barbary ; the 
lofty range of the Atlas Mountains runs through 
them ; they have a pleasant climate, and the people 
are civilised. The name of Morocco, the western 
state, is known to us through the fine leather which 
is made all over the coimtry ; that and the red caps 
which take their name from the town of Fez are the 
only manufactures* Algiers, the adjoining state, is 

DOW a FreDch colony, and has bo delightfol a climate 
that every year many invalids from Europe winter 



SoiTTH of the Barbary States, and stretching &om 
the Atlantic on the one side to the valley of the Nile 
on the other, is the Sahara, or Great Desert We 
are apt to think of the Sahara as a vast sea of 


burning sand over which the caravans journey day 
after day with never & cloud to screen them from 
the gtara of the fiery sun overhead ; where the hot 
wiud (Hf the desert drives the sand before it in 

AJfBIOJL. 165 

terrible sand-stormSy to settle at last in ridges or 
duneSy under which many a caravan, overtaken by 
these storms, lies buried. This is a true description 
of the northern borders of the desert, where these 
dunes form a great belt, 2000 miles in length and 
from 200 to 800 miles wide ; but the interior consists 
in great part of tablelands. These are sometimes 
covered with sharp boulders of dark stone strewn so 
thick that the caravans can hardly make way ; some- 
times they are covered with small pebbles ; and 
again, with a prickly plant which hurts the feet of 
the camels, though it affords them some food. 

It would not be possible to live in or even to cross 
this terrible desert, only that here and there are 
oases ; these are tracts with springs of water, some 
coarse grass, and always the friendly shelter of the 
date-palm. There are hundreds of little oasis-states 
scattered throughout the desert where the few 
scattered inhabitants chiefly dwell. Some tribes of 
these earn a living by guarding the caravans in 
their passage across the desert ; they are generally 
tall and handsome, and wear a shawl wound round 
face and head as a protection against the blown 
sands of the desert. The great caravan routes gene- 
rally run from north to south, from the ports of the 
Mediterranean to the fertile countries of the Soudan. 
The merchants bring from the south ostrich feathers, 
gold-dust, slaves, and ivory; from the north they 
bring the cottons, trinkets, and cutlery of Europe, 

South of the desert, between the 15th parallel and 
the 5th parallel north of the equator, lies Soudan, 
the real Negro Land, This is an exceedingly hot 

156 AFBIOA. 

region : it is a vast tableland, with mountains, and 
many rivers and lakes which are fed by abundant rains. 
So in place of waterless desert with dried-up river- 
beds as in the Sahara, the Soudan is full of well- 
peopled, fertile, and cultivated lands, with many 
settled nations and countries. This 'Mand of the 
blacks " is merry enough of an evening, for the people 
of the villages turn out of their homes to sing and 
dance to noisy music. They do not play all day, how- 
ever ; they till their land, and know how to weave and 
dye cotton cloth made from cotton they have grown 
themselves; they live in towns, build two-storied 
houses, trade, and are a strong and civilised race. 
Only a small part of the Soudan is yet known to 
Europeans; it includes many countries, and some 
British and other foreign settlements on the coast 

Senegambia is the name given to Western Soudan, 
which is watered by the rivers Senegal and Grambia 
France, Portugal, and Britain have settlements 
here, those of Britain being chiefly on the river 
Gambia and on Bathurst, at its mouth. Sierra 
Leone, the " lion hill," three days* voyage south of 
the Gambia, forms part of the same colony : it was 
in the first place founded by English people as a 
refuge for slaves captured by our vessels ,along the 
coast ; and to the present day English vessels watch 
the coast to prevent the export of slaves ; but this 
does not affect this traffic in the interior, indeed 
one-half the inhabitants of the continent are the 
slaves of the other half. The trade of these British 
settlements is chiefly in palm-oil, from which the 
greater part of our soap is made at home. 

AFBIOA. 167 

Going south along the coast we come to the negro 
republic of Liberia, where the climate is dangerous 
to Europeans, though it suits the negroes very well. 
Here, also, the oil-palm grows very freely, and its 
bunches of red and yellow fruit often have a 
thousand oil-yielding plums in each, the bunch 
weighing in some cases half a hundredweight. 

Passing by the Ivory Coast, we come to the Gold 
Coast of Guinea, which is now entirely in the hands 
of the British. It is rich in the oil-palm, but the 
climate is exceedingly dangerous to Europeans. All 
attempts to introduce cattle and horses have failed, 
owing to the presence of the poisonous tsetse fly. 
The natives are negroes. The chief British station 
is Cape Coast Castle, named from its great church- 
like fort on the water's edge, beside the filthy native 

Behind the Gold Coast lies the country of the 
warlike negro people called the Ashantees. 

Adjoining Ashantee is Dahomey, a barbarous negro 
state where festivals are marked by the murder of 
many people, and where the king has an army of 
Amazons, or women-soldiers, to protect him. 

The town of Lagos, a little further on, belongs to 
Britain, and the steamers from Liverpool which 
trade with it carry home cargoes of palm-oil and 

Next we reach the levels of the Niger district, a 
most unhealthy region of swamps overgrown with 
the deadly mangrove. This dark tree spreads over 
the low coasts of Western Africa as far south as the 
mouth of the Congo, that is, over the coasts of the 

disttict called Lower Guinea. It delights in mad, 
and its huge roots are constantly multiplying, and 
new roots are sent down from the branches, so that 
a single tree forms a dense grove in which the air is 
filled with unwholesome moisture fatal to Europeans. 
Little is known as yet of the inland countries of the 
Soadan. The negroes or black men Dative to Central 
Africa are marked generally by their black woolly 

hair, protrading lips, and flattened noses ; they are 
fond of ornament, and, above all, of dancing ; they 
may be lively and happy one moment, and tiien 
change saddenly to a sad or angry mood. 

Of Eastern Africa, also, little is known as yet. 
The great eastern promontory is inhabited by a tall, 
well-made people, with brown skins, who become 
less and less civilised towards the equator. 

South of the equator we come to a most interest- 
ing region which many travellers have, during the 

AFBIOA# 159 

last forty years, tried to explore. These have dis- 
covered the two snowy mountains, Eenia and Kili- 
manjaro, the highest in Africa, the great lake 
Victoria Nyanza, through which the Nile flows, 
Tanganyika Lake, and Lakes Nyassa, Shirwa, and 
others. The great Zambesi river was explored by 

- The east coast of Africa from Cape Belgado to 
Delagoa Bay is claimed by Portugal. The great 
island of Madagascar is not connected with Africa in 
any way ; its people are a distinct race, and it has a 
government of its own. 



Nearly the whole of South Africa belongs to Great 
Britain, which rules over all the land from Cape Frio 
on the west to Delagoa Bay and the Limpopo 
river on the east — ^with the exception of the small 
Orange Free State. Of these possessions, the Cape 
Colony is the most important ; it includes .all the 
land south of the Orange Eiver ; on the east, it is 
bounded by the Drakenberg Mountains. 

From the coast inwards, the country rises step by 
step in a series of terraces which run from east to 
west. These terraces sometimes rise into mountain 
ridges, whoso seaward slopes are the most habitable 

160 AFBIOA. 

parts of the colony, and are occupied by villages, 
com farms, and vineyards, orchards and tobacco 
plantations. Beyond the Zwarte Bergen (Black 
Mountains) lie the wide undulating plains called the 
Oreat Karroo. Here farms are few, for water is 
scarce, and the water channels are dry except after 
thunder-storms ; the land here is treeless^ though in 
some parts stunted bushes are thinly scattered, and at 
most times of the year the prospect is dreary. Yet 
after rain, as if by enchantment, the whole plain is 
covered with a lovely green vegetation, with flowers 
of every hue. The heaths of the Cape Colony have 
a world-wide fame, as have the bulbous plants and 
orchids which cover the ground in September and 
October with a sheet of gaudy blossoms. The Great 
Karroo is divided into immense sheep ^^runs," 
whereon millions of sheep find pasture. Wool is the 
principal export of the colony. 

The south-western peninsula, which ends in the 
famous Cape of Good Hope, is picturesque and 
beautiful with mountain and forest; it contains 
Table Mountain (3582 feet), whose flat top is often 
so covered with drooping clouds as to look like a 
table with a table-cloth on it 

The streams of the Cape Colony become furious 
torrents after rain, but almost disappear at other 
seasons. Not one of them is of much value for 
navigation ; the largest, the Orange Eiver, is ob- 
structed by rapids and falls, and its mouth is blocked 
up by a sandbank. 

Gape Colony is not a hot country; it has four 
seasons as we have, though, of course,, at opposite 

ATOOA. 161 

times — Janufiiry falling in midsummer^ July in mid- 

Thorns and prickles are characteristic of many 
South African plants; some trees, such as the 
"dornboom," have spikes which have been compared 
to ox-horns ; and there are many odd-looking cactus- 
like plants. Wheat is largely cultivated, and so are 
maize, oats, and barley. The grapes of Constantia, 
on the peninsula of the Cape of Good Hope, are said 
•to be the finest in the world. 

Since the lion, leopard, and other beasts of prey 
have been driven away to the north of the Orange 
river, the sheep have increased in an extraordinary 
degree, and they yield an immense quantity of 
wool. Oxen dragging great canvas-covered waggons 
are the chief means pf conveyance in the colony, 
except where railways have been constructed. In the 
ostrich farms here the birds are fenced in and stabled 
like sheep or horses, to be plucked of their valuable 
feathers when these come to maturity ; their eggs 
are hatched in artificial nests warmed by hot water. 
There are not many people as yet in the colony, 
only about four or five to the square mile: the 
Europeans — British and Dutch — are the most numer-^ 
ous. Besides these, there are a few Hottentots left, 
who are short, of a pale yellow-brown colour, light- 
heai*ted, and lazy; and the Kafirs, who are taU, 
dark brown in colour, active, and well made ; many 
of these are no longer savages. The Hottentots 
were the only inhabitants when the colony was dis- 
covered. The capital is Cape Town, a large town 
which lies between Table Mountain and the shores 


162 hmoju 

of Table Bay ; gaa-ligliting, gaxdens^ tramways and 
railway stations give it all the air of a European 
town. Port Eb'zabeth, on Algoa Bay, is the second 
town, and is a bustling seaport full of warehouses 
and stores to which huge waggons bring down the 
wool and hides of the interior for shipmeatb 
Grahamstown is an important place in the interior. 

Kafibland is the fertile and well-watered coimtry 
which lies between the Drakenberg Mountains and 
the Indian Ocean ; it is inhabitated chiefly by Eafin^ 
but is under the control of British magistrates. 

Natal» to the north of Eafirlandy ako lies be- 
tween the Drakenberg Mountains and the Indian 
Ocean: it is full of mountain spurs, which slope 
down from the Drakenbeig; it has a delightful 
climate and a fertile soil ; cattle and sheep are reared 
on the wide grass pastures, and com crops, coffee, 
and sugar are largely grown. The natives are Kafirs, 
and these are so lazy that Hindoo coolies are im- 
ported to do the work. 

There are but few Europeans — ^English, Dutch, 
and German, and these live for the most part in the 
two towns of the colony, the seaport of Durban or 
Port Natal, and Fietermaritzburg, where the British 
Governor lives. 

The Orange Free State is a republic, and consists 
of grassy plains upon which many sheep and cattle 
are fed, so that sheep-fSarming is the principal 
business of the Dutch settlers. 

The Transvaal lies between the rivers Yaal and 
Limpopo ; vast herds of cattle and flocks of sheep 
are reared on the hills, and the Boers, or Dutch 


farmers, are the principal colonists, but the greater 
part of the inhabitants are the native Eaflrs.* 

We have no room to speak of the various Kafir 
kingdoms in the interior of South Africa, nor of the 
islands off the coast, not even of the small British 
island of St. Helena. 

duestions on the Hap of Africa. 

1. What sea divides Africa from Europe ? 

2. Name four African coontriea which hare coasts upon this sea. 

3. A range of mountains on the north-west coast which crosses 
two of these countries P 

4. Name the great desert which lies to the south of these northern 

5. What large rirer flows into the Gulf of Guinea ? 

6. How are various parts of the Guinea coast named ? 

7. Name three States in the south part oi this western shoulder 
of Africa. 

8. What general name is given to the lands south of the Sahara ? 

9. Name a lake in Sudan. 

10. Name a great western river below Sudan which appears to 
begin in a distant lake. 

11. Name five large lakes in the eastern half of the continent 

12. What large river flows into the Mozambique Channel, to the 
south of these lakes? 

13. What great northward-flowing river appears to begin in the 
Victoria Nyanza Lake? 

14. Through what countries does this river flow? What sea 
washes their eastern coast ? What country in Asia is on the further 
side of this sea? 

15. What tributary of the Nile begins in the mountains of 

16. What country, watered by the Nile, has coasts upon two 

17. How is the Bed Sea connected with the Mediterranean ? 

18. By what gulf must vessels leave the Bed Sea ? 

* From the article on Atbioa in *The London Geography,' by 
ELeith Johnston, F.B.G.S. 

M 2 


19. What large ooantry lies to the south of this gnlf ? 

20. What is the eastern coast of Africa called ? Name a cape 
on this coast ; two bays ; a large island in the Indian Ocean. 

21. Name half-a-<lozen African islands, or gronps of islands, in 
the Atlantia 

22. Any capes or bays on the western coast 

28. At what point do Africa and Europe nearly join? What 
strait separates them? 

24. Name a large desert in Southern Africa south of the 

25. What country occupies the southern point of Africa? A 
smaller country to the north-east of this? 

26. What river bounds Gape Colony on the north ? 

' 27. What mountain range runs near the east coast of this south 
end of Africa ? 

28. What famous cape is at the south-west comer? 

29. How do the mountains of Africa lie, in the interior, or near 
the coast ? 

SO. State roughly the length and breadth of Africa at the longest 
and broadest parts. 



The three continents which we have spoken of are 
known as the Old World. When this Old World was 
already very old, when men had lived in it for fifteen 
centuries believing it to be the whole of our habitable 
earth, a great joy was granted to a faithful man. 
To this man, Christopher Columbus by name, it was 
given to discover a new world — a new continent 
really, but so vast, so beautiful, so filled with all 
manner of riches, and so unlike the world they 
already knew, that men loved to speak of it as the 
New World. 

lipE MXW WORLD. 165 

CSolumbuSy who was a native of Genoa in Italy, 
and whose business it was to make maps and charts, 
became convinced that the earth was a sphere. 
That being so, he thought that if after leaving the 
Mediterranean he continued to sail to the west, he 
must at last come to China, unless there were some 
undiscovered land between. 

He thought of this night and day, and laid his 
plans with great care; but, alas! he was a poor 
man, and ships, money, and men were wanted before 
he could work out these bold projects. He could 
get no help in his own country, bo he went to Spain, 
and after much entreaty Isabella, the queen, granted 
him three ships, to do what it was thought had never 
been done before, to sail right across the perilous 
ocean without knowing what he should come to. 

His men grew mutinous, for they had to fisu^e 
many terrors on the way; but Columbus kept up 
heart and hope, and after many a weary watch 
land was at last sighted; land that no man from 
the Old World had ever gazed upon. " We praise 
Thee, God," rang out from them all, but they 
little knew, and Columbus himself never knew, for 
how much they were praising God; they little 
dreamed how vast were the continents of the 
western hemisphere which they had lighted upon. 

Wild were the rejoicings in Spain, and great was 
the honour with which Columbus was received ; and 
very memorable has he made that year of our Lord, 
fourteen hundred and ninety-two. 

Many followed where Columbus had led the way ; 
other nations of Europe sent men to explore this. 


wondrous new world, and they returned full of its 
marvels. Perhaps at every fireside of our own 
Britain strange tales, better than fairy lore, were 
told of these lands of the west — of their mighty 
riverSy so wide and full that they looked like great 
seae rolling into the ocean ; of forests bigger than any 
known country, whose trees were gay with flaming 
flowers ; of the tiny humming-bird, like a sparkling 
jewel, hiding itself in these huge blossoms ; of other 
birds of gorgeous plumage, the parrot* and toucan ; 
of the huge condor, the largest of all flying birds. 

Fearsome tales, too, of the alligator in the great 
rivers, the boa-constrictor, and the rattlesnake. 
Tales of strange beasts which carry their young in 
natural bags or pouches; of marvellous monkeys, 
which make use of their tails by which to swing 
themselves from tree to tree. But they told of no 
beasts so large, nor indeed so handsome, as those of 
the Old World. 

Tales were told, too, of rich cities with splendid 
palaces and many gold and silver ornaments; of 
the gentle, kindly people of these cities, who wel- 
comed the strangers lovingly, made feasts for them, 
and gave them rich presents. And then came dark 
tales of how these gentle people were cruelly slain, 
and their riches and cities taken by their strange 
guests. Englishmen were glad then, and are glad 
now, that this shameftd deed was not done by 
countrymen of theirs. 

The continents came to be called America, North 
and South, after a man who sailed with Columbus, 
and who wrote a book about what he had seen. 


By degrees people came not only to see but to 
settle. Many Portuguese and Spaniards settled in 
South America, and in that part of North America 
which is about the Gulf of Mexico, one of the two 
oountries where the people were so treacherously 
dealt with. 

The French and the Dutch eame to North 
America; and, by-and-by, the English, in such 
numbers that now an English-speaking people fills 
nearly the whole of North America^ excepting 
Mexico, the part settled at first by Spain. 

What became of the native people ? There were 
not a great many of them, and only in two countries 
did they dwell much in cities. Most of them liyed 
by hunting; and there was room enough for the 
red men as well as for the white settlers. 

They are generally well-made people, with reddish- 
brotm skins, straight features, and sikraight hair, and 
they have very keen sight and scent. They do not 
like work, and do not like to live in cities; therefore 
they do not readily become civilised, and are gradu- 
ally dying off. 

Thofse at the south point of South America are 
perhaps the tallest people in the world, while the 
aborigines on the Arctic shores, a different race, are 
very short and fat, and live chiefly upon fish« 

168. irOBTH' AMXBIOA. 



The G-reat Western Continent reaches nearly from 
pole to pole, a length of 9000 miles; it is four 
times as large as Europe, and is second only to 
Asia, which is the largest of the contin^its. 

The longest range of lofty mountains in the world 
runs through the two Americas, passing through the 
isthmus which joins them. Throughout its length 
this range keeps near the Pacific coast, thus giving 
a long slope towards the Atlantic, down which flow 
the mightiest rivers in the world. 

In North America the principal range is known 
as the Bocky Mountains. Mount Hooker, the highest 
summit (16,760 feet), is in the north ; but nearly in 
the centre of the range are twenty-five peaks, sil of 
which are as high as the loftiest summits of the 
Alps. On the coast is another great mountain 
chain, the Ooast Bange of the Pacific; Mount St. 
Elias (14,970 feet), which is a huge volcano, and 
Mount Fairweather, both in the north and near the 
coast, are the two highest points. Between these 
two long mountain ranges are high tablelands. 

Centi^ America is filled with high tablelands, 
from which many volcanic cones rise ; of these Popo- 
catepetl (17,784 feet) and the Peak of Orizaba 
(17,879 feet), on the Mexican tableland, are the 
highest summits of North America. 

Great lowlands fill the centre of North America, 
reaching &om the Arctic shores to the Gulf of 



Stanford's Gttgi Estabf 


Mexico. Towards the eastern coast the contment 
again rises into the rather low ADeghany Mountains. 

The great island of Greenland, lying to the north- 
east of the mainland of America^ is about eight times 
the size of Great Britain, and is coyered with one 
vast field of ice, which reaches from sea to sea. 
Some Eskimos and a few Danish settlers make 
their homes here for the sake of the sealskins and 
whale oil with which they trade. 

From the Arctic shores to about the fiftieth parallel 
a wide and dreary British territory stretches, which 
is known as the Dominion of Canada ; part of the 
southern boundary of this territory is formed by 
the river St. Lawrence and its chain of mighty 

South of the lakes, and reaching to the northern 
shore of the Gulf of Mexico, and right across the con- 
tinent fiN)m ocean to ocean, we find the United States 
of North America, a very great country, rich and 
powerful, with many towns and people. These people 
speak the English language, and the country once 
belonged to Britain, but now it is a Bepublic, formed 
of many States united under one government. New 
York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis» 
and N«w Orleans are some of the principal towns. 

The climate in the Southern States is warm, and 
much rice, sugar, and cotton are grown; a great 
deal of the cotton grown here is made into calico 
in the English factories. There is a sad history 
connected with the cotton and sugar plantations; 
white people are not able to do the necessary field 
work under the hot sun of these States, so for many 


years it was the custom to bring shiploads of negroes 
from Africa, and set them to work in the fields as 
slaves. These poor slaves were often cruelly used ; 
they were beaten with thongs to make them work, 
and children were sold away from their mothers, 
and wives from their husband& But now, happily, 
there are no longer slaves in America ; a great war 
recently put an end to so sad a state of things ; the 
blacks still do the work that white men are not fit 
for, but they are tree, and work for wages like other 

Through the low central plain of North America 
flows the mighty Mississippi, the *' Father of Waters/' 
with its tributary the Missouri, as great as itself; it 
receives many other large tributaries, and only one 
other river in the world bears such a flood of water 
to the ocean. 

On either side of the Mississippi stretch the wide, 
rolling jprames, or meadows, of North America. 
They are very level, and are covered with tall 
grass and brilliant wild^flowers, but are without 
trees. When cultivated, these prairies yield com 
crops in the Northern States, and rice, cotton, sugar, 
oranges, and other products of warm lands in the 
States to the south. 

To the south of the United States is Mexico, which 
lies almost entirely upon a high tableland, and there- 
fore has a pleasant climate, though it is in such 
warm latitudes. It has huge volcanoes, and moun* 
tains rich in silver and gold. The capital city is 
Mexico, which has a fine cathedral, and as many as 
eighty churches. This is one of the countries where 


the Spaniards found cities and wealth, of which they 
robhed the gentle and civilised people.. 

Central America, the curiously shaped narrow part 
between the two continents, is also a tableland ; and 
tiiroagh the narrow neck of Panama a low range of 
hills runs, to rise presently into mighty, snow-capped 
mountains, many of them volcanoes. There ' are 
works on foot for making a canal through the isthmus 
of Panama, thus to connect the two oceans. 

One little bit of Central America belongs to« 
Britain, namely, British Hondubas, or. Belize, on 
the Gulf of Honduras ; it is valuable for the maho- 
gany and logwood of its forests, which are floated 
down by the rivers to the sea and shipped in large 


The West India Islands form a long archipelago 
(or sea of islands), that reaches in a curve from 
between Florida and Yucatan round to the coast 
of South America. The Spanish island of Cuba is 
the largest and most important of these; Hayti, 
where there is a negro republic, and Puerto Bico, 
also a Spanish island, and Jamaica, a British island^ 
are the next in importance of the West Indies. 
Jamaica has two or three large towns, and exports 
rum, molasses, allspice, coffee, dye-woods, and ma- 
hogany. TsmiDAD, where there are pitch lakes, 
Babbados, Antigua, and Dominica are also rather 
important islands belonging to the British. The 


Bermudas and Bahahas also belong to Britain; 
each of these groups consists of several hundreds of 
low-lying coral islands, but only a few are inhabited ; 
most of them are mere coral reefs and rocks. 

Though almost all the islands lie within the torrid 
zone, the climate of the West Indies is made plea- 
santly cool by the surrounding seas. The northern 
islands have a rainy season during the summer 
months; Jamaica and the southern isles have two 
rainy seasons. Yellow feyer is the scourge of the 
coasts of the islands during the rain, and they are 
exposed to fearful hurricanes. 

The warm climate and the plentiful rains make 
the West Indies well suited to the growth of sugar- 
cane, tobacco, and tropical fruits. Sugar, rum, and 
molasses; cotton, coffee, and cacao; indigo and dyes; 
spices, oranges, bananas, pineapples and many other 
fruits, are exported. 



The wide " Dominion of Canada," which belongs to 
the British Grown, stretches across the continent of 
North America, from ocean to ocean, and from the 
United States on the south to the shores of the 
Arctic. The north-west comer, the peninsula of 
Alaska, belongs to the United States ; the icy and 
desolate peninsula of Greenland belongs' to Den- 
mark ; the rest of the continent north of the 49th 
parallel is under British rule. 

174 THE vommos ov oana]>a. 

Nowhere will you find a straighter botmdary line 
than that between the ^'Dominion" and the weertem 
United States. For several hundred miles a cutting 
thirty feet wide is made through the forests, and an 
iron pillar, standing four feet from the ground and 
painted white, is placed at the end of eyery mile. 
The mighty chain of lakes, whose waters are carried 
away by the river St. Lawrence, forms part of the 
southern boundary. Lake Superior is the largest 
fresh-water lake in the world ; and Michigan, Huron, 
Erie, and Ontario are all so large that they are like 
inland seas, and, like the sea, are subject to storms 
so violent that great waves like ocean breakers dash 
against the shores. 

All the important towns of the Dominion lie 
either on the shores of the lakes or on the lower 
course of the river, for this chain of lakes united by 
rivers forms the highway by which trade with the 
forest lands of the north and west is carried on. 

The boats used in this traffic are exceedingly 
light, because, in the course of a voyage westward, 
it is often necessary to carry both boat and cargo 
over a portage^ the name given to the land passage 
across which everything must be ea/nried. 

It is necessary for the vayagefwrs thus to carry 
their boats, because there are many rapids and 
water£alls in this great waterway. Perhaps a river 
arrives in its course at a lake which lies much lower 
than itself. Its waters must needs enter the lake, 
so down they pour in a great waterfall, it may be, a 
hundred feet deep. 

When the voyageurs approach these dangerous 

THi Doumov OT oakasa: 175 

cataracts they draw their boats to' land, and carry 
them orer a portage, until Bmooth waters are 

The most &moiu waterfalls in the world are in 
the rirer Niag;ara, which connects Idtkes Erie and 
Ontario. The deep boomiDg soood of the waters 

may be heard at a distance oi two or three milea 
We say falls, because there are two, divided by (roat 
Island, which rises in the midst of the foaming river. 
That on the Canadian side of the river is called the 
Horseshoe Fall on account of its shape, and is con- 
sidered the more beantiful of the two. 

During the bright, hot Canadian sammer, rivets 
and lakes are lively with the beat of many oaxg and 
with the songs of the boatmen, whose " voices ^eep 
tane as their oars keep time." Sometimes the boats 
go in companies called brigades, which look gay 
enough as they start on their voyage, hundreds of 
wiles long, to some distant western staticm, from 


which they will bring back boat-loads of fats to be 
shipped to Europe. 

ill this ends when winter sets in. For fiye months 
in the year the riyer above the town of Quebec is 
frozen, and the sleigh with its merry bells is then 
the usual means of trayelling. 

The moment the snow falls, wheeled carriages 
and carts giye place to sleighs. ^' These beautiful 
vehicles are mounted on runners, or large skates, and 
slide yery smoothly and easily oyer the snow. They 
are usually drawn by one horse, the harness and 
trappings of which are covered with small round 
bells, which make a very pleasing, cheerful, tinkling 
music on the Canadian roads."* Indeed, winter is a 
joyous time amongst the Canadians. The cold is 
intense, but the air is clear, the sun is bright, the 
roads are crisp, and every one who can wraps up in 
fius and turns out for a merry sleigh ride. Here is 
a description of a Canadian scene in winter : — 
''From the hill on which we stood, the whole valley, 
of many miles in extent, was visible. It was per- 
fectly level, and covered from end to end with 
thousands of little hamlets and several churches, 
with here and there a few small patches of forest. 
Seyeral small vessels lay embedded in ice at the 
mouth of the riyer, beyond which rolled the dark, 
ice-laden waves of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The 
whole valley teemed with human life. Hundreds of 
Canadians in their graceful sleighs flew oyer the 
roads, and the air was filled with the faint sound of 
tinkling bells."* 

* < Hndflon Bay.' B. M. Ballantyne. 


Such a scene as this could only belong to Canada 
Proper, that is, to the two provinces of Quebec and 
Ontario. Quebec lies on the lower course of the 
river St. Lawrence, and Ontario higher up, on the 
northern shores of the lakes. These provinces were, 
until lately, called Upper and Lower Canada, and 
they are almost the only part of the wide " Dominion " 
where there are towns and many people. 

This part of America was visited, in the first place, 
by a French voyager named Jacques Cartier, who 
found the country peopled by Indians who were 
friendly and kind to the strangers. Here and 
there were groups of wigwams — Indian huts — ^and 
these the Indians called KancUa, which means village, 
or place of huts ; but the Frenchmen took this word 
for the name of the country, which has ever since 
been called Canada. Shortly after, other Frenchmen 
came, who took the country from the kindly Indians 
and settled themselves in the part now known as 
Quebec. These French settlers built Montreal, 
Niagara, and other towns ; and, on the top of the 
Heights of Abraham, which are steep as a wall 
towards the river, they built the strong town of 
Quebec. This they defended with many guns placed 
on the hill slopes, and in the walls and forts, until 
Quebec became almost as strong and as difficult to 
attack as the fortress of Gibraltar. 

But war broke out between Englemd and France, 
and an English army was sent, under the command 
of the young General Wolfe, to attack Quebec. He 
did not attempt to lead his men up the heights 
under the French guns by daylight, but chose a 



dark night for the attack. Then, with muffled oars, 
the English rowed silently past the town, landed 
higher up the river, climbed up to Quebec from 
behind, and were in the enemy's camp before the 
alarm had been raised. The French were brave, 
and a fierce battle followed, in which General Wolfe 
fell — ^not, however, before he knew that the French 
were defeated, and that Quebec was in the hands of 
his men ; then he said, ** I die content." 

Since this victory (1763) Canada has remained in 
the hands of the English. The people of the pro- 
vince of Quebec are descended, for the most part, 
from the early French settlers. They are called 
habitanSf and are a gay and warm-hearted people, 
who dislike changes, and care only to live as did 
their fathers before them. Most of them are farmers, 
and their farms are long and narrow, so that the 
farm buildings lie on the bank of the St. Lawrence, 
and the fields stretch away fiar to the north. In the 
summer many of the men are employed as voyagevrs^ 
that is, they row the boats engaged in the fur trade. 
Quebec and Montreal are the chief towns. Montreal 
is a large and handsome city, with fine shops, baths, 
hotels, and public buildings. Quebec is beautifully 
placed ; it consists of a lower and upper town, and 
round the upper town are walls and fortifications. 
The streets are narrow and even steeper 'than those 
of Edinburgh, and the houses are high. The best 
shops and some of the houses of the rich people are 
in the upper town. 

Ontario, formerly Upper Canada, is more fertile 
than Quebec, and is chiefly peopled by English 


settlers, many of whom are farmers, as in the pro- 
vince of Quebec. The towns are new for the most 
part, and the streets are broad and straight and 
rather stiff-looking. The chief town of the province 
is Toronto, a large and busy city, with long streets, 
many shops, and busy wharves. It ii one of the 
wonders of the West, because, unlike the slow- 
growing cities of the Old World, it has reached its 
present importance within a century. Ottawa is 
also an important town, because it is now the seat of 
Government for the Dominion of Canada. 



New Brunswick — where there are forests of huge 
pine, and where the cutting of timber and the 
building of ships are the chief occupations — and 
Nova Scotia are also included in the Dominion. 
Fishing is the principal business of the latter pro- 
vince, and great quantities of dried fish are sent to 
the Mediterranean. 

The North-West Territory is the name now 
given to nearly all the rest of British North America. 
This country used to be called the Hudson Bay 
Company Territory. Hendrick Hudson discovered 
the bay from which this vast tract was named. He 
hoped to carry his discoveries further, but his crew 
mutinied, and put him into a little boat, together 

N 2 


with eight sick seamen, provided only with a little 
meal, a musket, and an iron pot ; and then they left 
him to perish in the bay named after himself. 

In the year 1669 a company was formed in London 
for the purpose of carrying on the far trade in the 
regions round Hudson Bay. This company had 
the sole right of trading in all the country watered 
by rivers flo¥nng into this bay, and of building forU 
here and there for the protection of their trade. 
This vast tract is now part of the Dominion, but the 
fur trade is carried on as before. 

"Imagine an immense extent of country many 
hundred miles broad and many hundred miles long, 
covered with dense forests, great lakes, broad rivers, 
wide prairies, swamps, and mighty mountains, where 
the axe of civilised man has never been, and where 
roving hordes of Bed Indians emd myriads of wild 
animals are the only tenants. Imagine, amid this 
wilderness, a number of smaU squares, each enclos- 
ing half a dozen wooden houses and about a dozen 
men, and between each of these establishments a 
space of forest varying from fifty to three hundred 
miles in length, and you will have a pretty correct 
idea of tiie Hudson Bay Company's Territories, 
and of the number of and distance between their 

The name of fort is giyen to all these stations, 
though very few of them are fortified. 

The most valuable of the furs taken- in this region 
is that of the iZoeA; /(m;, and badger skins, beaver 
skins, deer, bear, wolf, otter, and seal skins, as wdl 
as whale oil, dried and salted fish, fsathers a&d 


quills, are among the stock the Indians bring to the 
forts for sale. 

The natives visit the forts of the white men twice 
a year— once in October, when they bring in the 
prodace of their automn hunts ; and again in March, 
when they come in with that of the great winter 

After the furs are collected in spring at all the 
different outposts, they are packed in bales and sent 
by means of boats and canoes to the three chief 
depots on the sea-coast, namely, Fort Vancouver, at 
the mouth of the Columbia Biver, on the shores of 
the Pacific; York Port, on the shores of Hudson Bay ; 
and Moose Factory, on the shores of James Bay, 
whence the bales are sent in the Company's ships to 
England. The whole country in summer is lively 
with the passing of brigades of boats laden with furs ; 
the still waters of the lakes and rivers are rippled by 
the paddle and the oar ; and the echoes are awakened 
by the merry voice and tuneful song of the hardy 
voyageur^ * 

The aborigines (that is, the native inhabitants) of 
North America belong to the race of people known 
as Bed Indians. They consist of a great number of 
nations or tribes, some of which bear a bitter hatred 
to certain other tribes. Among these nations are 
the Crees, Stone Indians, Blackfeet, Chipewyans, 
Slave Indians, Crows, Flatheads, &o. Of these, the 
Crees are the quietest; they inhabit the woody 
country surrounding Hudson Bay, dwell in tents, 
never go to war, and spend their time in trapping, 

* * Hudson Bay/— B. M. BoUantyna 

182 THE iKtunnoN or 

shootiDg, and fishing. The other tribes named 
above inliabit the vast plains and forests in the 
interior, on the east and west of the Bocky Moon- 
tains, and live chiefiy by t)ie produce of the chase. 

The Indian walks with a long and stately stride, 
and his black eyes are restless from the habit he has 
acquired of always looking about in the forest in 
quest of game. His coarse black hair bangs in 

matted locks abont his bead, and only in the hard 
winter does he wear any head-covering. Most of 
the men have now learned from the English to near 
a coarse bine-striped cotton shirt, and a sort of loose 
coat of grey cloth in summer, which they change for 
a coat of deerskin in the winter. Their wives make 
them beautirul lepgins, and mocassins for their feet of 
this same skin, ornamented with beads and dyed por- 
cupine quills. Summer or winter, they seldom go out 


without a blanket over their shoulders. Nothing 
can be drearier than the long night marches of the 
Indians over their frozen plains in search of game. 
North of the 60th parallel the ground is frozen 
throughout nearly the whole year. 

The province called British Columbia, which 
lies to the west of the Rocky Mountains, contains 
far more people than the whole of the wide fur- 
hunting territory. Gold-diggers have flocked there 
in great numbers, because gold has been discovered 
quite lately in the banks of the Eraser River, which 
flows through the province. The pleasant Van- 
couver Island which lies off the coast forms part of 
British OolumbiiEi. Its climate is something like 
that of the British Isles. 

The large island of Newfoundland is the only 
part of British North America which is not included 
in the " Dominion of Canada." It is full of barren 
mountains and lakes, and has a long, cold winter, 
but the summer is dry and very hot. Little is 
known of the interior, and all the settlements are on 
the coast. In one of the harbours, Heart's Content 
Bay, is the American end of the Atlantic cables, 
which cross the ocean from Irelemd. The great 
business of the settlers is the catching, curing, and 
sending away of cod. The town of St. John, the 
capital, is full of the smell of this fish ; the ships 
in the harbour are laden with cod which they will 
carry all over the world ; and sheds in which the fish 
are dried surround the harbour. There is no such 
cod fishery in the world as off the banks, which lie 
under water to the south of the island. The warm 


waters of the Gulf Stream wash these banks, and 
the fish swarm into the warm, pleasant shelter they 

Questions on the BCap of North America. 

1. What gteoX raoge of mountains runs through the whole length 
of North America ? Name two mountains in this range. 

2. Name the range which runs parallel with the Booky Moon- 
tains, but nearer the coast. Two mountains in this range. 

3. Name a country between these ranges which belongs to 

4. What gulf nearly diyides the peninsula of California from the 
mainland ? 

5. What peninsula forms the north-west comer of North America ? 
By what strait is America here divided from Asia ? 

6. What name is given to the whole of the northern part of North 
America, excepting this peninsula ? 

7. Name five lakes which form part of the southern boundary of 
the Dominion of Canada. What large rivers are they connected 

8. Entering the estuary of this river, between the island of New- 
foundland and the peninsula of Nova Scotia, what land have we on 
our right ? As we sail up the lakes, what land is on our right ? 

9. What great bay breaks into the Dominion of Canada ? 

10. In what cape does Greenland end ? What European island 
lies off its eastern coc^t? 

11. What waters bound Greenland on the east ? On the west ? 

12. By what three oceans is North America washed ? Name any 
Islands in the Arctic. 

13. Name any lakes in British North America which are not in 
the great chain of lakes belongiog to the St. Lawrence ? 

14. What island lies off the west coast near where the boundary 
line of the *^ Dominion " ends ? 

15.' What great republic occupies the centre of the continent, 
from ocean to ocean ? 

16. What mighty river drains the United States? Where do 
its tributaries rise ? Name the longest of these. Name any others 
that are marked on the map. Into what gulf does this river empty 

17. Name three cities in the United States. 


18. What mountain-chain is there to the east of the Mississippi 
▼alley ? 

19. Name the southern country of North America. 

20. What mountain-ranges does Mexico lie between? Name a 
mountain in this country. 

21. What great gulf here breaks into the land? 

22. Name the two peninsulas which partly enclose this gulf, on 
the north and the south. 

23. What is that part of the continent called which lies between 
North and South America ? 

24. What name is giyen to the land in the narrowest part ? 

25. What two oceans would be united by a canal cut through this 

26. What islands partly shut in the Caribbean Sea? Name those 
marked on the map, in the order of their size. 



The great western mountain range is called the Andes 
in South America. Beginning at the north coast, 
these mountains traverse the republic of Colombia 
in three great ridges, until they reach the equator. 
There, in Ecuador, the country of the equator, they 
draw together, and its capital city, Quito, stands 
upon the tableland thus formed, at a height of 
about 9500 feet above the sea; all round this city 
the snow-clad Andes form a great square. Though 
in the hottest region of the earth, the city lies so 
high that it is pleasantly cool, and about it are 
volcanoes which every now and then throw out 
flames that rise fully half a mile into the air. 
Among this bodyguard of mighty mountains are 



Falkland Itlamdi 




Scale of Miles. 



R.^ River 

Stanford's Ctograpki Esia^\ 


Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and Antisana, all nearly 
20,000 feet in height. 

Further south, the Andes divide again into two 
chains, enclosing the high tablelands of Peru and 
Bolivia ; thence to the south thej form a single chain, 
in which is Aconcagua, the highest of the Andes. 

Before describing the great central plain, we must 
notice two countries on the north coast — Venezuela, 
or " little Venice," which is oddly named, as it is a 
country twice as large as France ; and Guiana, which 
is interesting to us, as part of it is British Guiana, 
where much sugar is grown. 

South America, as well as the northern continent, 
has mountains on its eastern side besides the great 
western range, and between these mountain ranges, 
from the north to the south of the continent, 
stretches an immense plain. 

This plain has three great rivers flowing through 
it, and the pl^in of each of the rivers has a different 

The plains of the northern river, the Orinoco, 
near 5°-N. lat., are called Savannahs, In the dry 
season they are all parched up ; there is not a green 
thing to be seen, hardly a living creature ; the very 
ground opens in great dry cracks. The rains come, 
the river overflows ; the plain is covered all at once 
with thick turf which presently grows tall like the 
prairie grass, and live things swarm in the air and on 
the ground. 

Just on the equator flows out the Amazon, the 
mightiest of all the rivers, which, gathering many 
great tributaries as it goes, flows right across the 

188 sotTFH amehoa. 

oontinent from the monntains on the west. This 
river passes in its lower course through the Selvaa, 
or forest plains, where the trees grow thick, and the 
forests are filled with underwood, and are bright with 
flowers, both upon the trees and upon the creeping 
plants which twine among them ; where the mother 
monkeys play with their young ones, and where are 
the most beautiful birds, and beetles, and butter- 
flies to be seen in the world. 

This river flows through Peru and Brazil, two 
large countries which are famous for the gold and 
silver and diamonds found in their mountains and 
washed from the beds of their rivers. 

It was the gentle, hospitable people of Peru who 
met with so cruel a fate from the Spaniards and 

The plains of the third great river, which is in- 
deed two rivers, the Parana and the Paraguay, flow- 
ing into the Q^uary of the La Plata, are called 
Pampas. The part between 30° and 40° S. is very 
remarkable : for nine months in the year, this whole 
district, right away to the mountains, is so over- 
grown with thistles, higher than the tallest man, 
that it is impossible to pass through it. 

Other parts of the Pampas are covered with coarse 
grass, amongst which roam great herds of wild horses 
and cattle. The Gauchos, as the dwellers on the 
Pampas are called, capture these by means of a 
lasso, which is a long leather strap, more than 
twenty feet long, with a running noose at the end. 
The Gaucho gallops over the plain, and casts this 
noose over the head of the horse he wishes to capture. 


On the west of the river is La Plata, which is 
named after the estuary. ^ Bio de la Plata " means 
river of silver, as much silver is washed from its 
bed. Two States on the east are named Paraguay 
and Uruguay, after the two rivers which form the 

Patagonia, the southern country, is also a plain ; 
for the most part stony and barren, and very cold in 
the soutL It is inhabited by red men only, who 
live by hunting. 

Questions on the Uap of South America. 

1. Between what oceans does South Amerioa lie ? 

2. What sea washes its north-western coasts ? 

3. By what isthmus is this continent joined to Central America ? 

4. Name four countries bordering the north-west coast. 

5. What rivers drain the north-west comer of the continent ? 

6. What immense river crosses the country further south ? Kame 
three of its tributaries. 

7. What great mountain chains run through the length of Sontii 

8. Name three countries which lie more or less between the 
parallel chains of the Andes. 

9. Name a mountain in Chili. 

10. Name a lake in Peru. 

11. What large country occupies the valley of the Amazons ? 

12. Name two towns in Brazil. 

13. Are there any mountains in South America besides the 
Andes ? What country are they in ? 

14. Name two rivers which flow between these eastern mountain 

15. What great river enters the ocean to the south of Brazil ? 

16. Name the three States drained by it. 

17. What name is given to the district west of this river ? 

18. What is the most soiithem State of the continent called ? 

19. In what does it end ? What strait divides this island from 
the mainland? 

20. What cape forms the southern point of the Island? 


21. Name any other capes on the coast of South America. 

22. What islands lie to the north-east of Cape Horn ? 

23. Name half-a-dozen important towns in South America, and 
say to what State each belongs. 

24. What are the three great rivers of South America ? In what 
direction do they all flow ? 

25. Name the countries of South America in the order of their 

26. About how long is South America? How broad at the 
broadest part? 



The excitement and joy caused by the discovery of 
America led other navigators to imagine they also 
might be happy enoagh to find a new continent. 

They consalted such maps of the world as had 
then been made, and saw that there was nothing 
but ocean marked to the south and east of Asia. 
As there was so much known land in the northern 
hemisphere, it seemed probable that a great south 
land might lie somewhere in these waters, and many 
went in search of such a continent One of these, 
a Portuguese, it is supposed, was successful. He dis- 
covered the great south land which was named 

But Australia did not prove so rich and inviting 
a land as America, and many years passed before 
settlers made their homes there. Indeed, for a long 
time it was only used as a place of punishment for 
English prisoners. 

At last people found out that they might grow 


e of Miles. 




rich by rearing sheep in Australia^ to supply the 
English mills with wool ; and later still it was dis- 
covered that in certain places, lamps, or nuggets, of 
gold might be found by lacky diggers. 

Shiploads of emigrants from England and other 
countries are now carried over the ocean every year 
to settle in Australia. Most of these go to the 
south-east corner, which you will see is the only 
part of the map thickly marked with towns. 

The Murray is the only large river in the whole 
of Aastralia, and even this sometimes dries up and 
becomes a chain of stagnant ponds ; its large tribu- 
tary, the Darling, however, flows constantly ; it 
drains the south-east of the island. Mountains, 
with difficult passes, run close to the east and south- 
east coasts. In other parts, the coast is rock-bound, 
and there are few large openings. For these, and 
other reasons, it is very difficult to penetrate into 

The whole island belongs to England, and when 
the emigrant lands at Sydney he might think he 
was in an English town. He hears none but 
English voices, sees English faces, and English- 
looking houses and streets. But outside the town 
he may find himself among great groves of orange 
trees laden with golden fruit; or may see peaches 
growing in such quantities that they are given to 
the pigs. 

Towards the Blue Mountains, he comes upon 
forests of dull evergreen, or rather, ever grey, trees, 
whose narrow leaves turn edgewise to the sun, and 
cast but little shade. Now and then the dulness is 



enlivened by flocks of cbattering parroqaets and 
other biida of gorgeoos plumage, crimson,, green, 
and gold. 

On the mountain elopes, be may come across the 
kangaroo, which bears ita yoong in a pouch, and 

cannot walk or mn, bat^gots oyer the ground with a 
cmioos spring. 

He may chance on a colony of diggers, too, for 
gold is to be found all along these eastern monn- 
tains, and in the beds of the little rivers which flow 
from them. 

On the inland slopes of the mountains are great 
pastures of grass (which grows in tofts, showing the 
earth between), with countless flocks of sheep upon 
them. These wide pastures, dotted with many 
flocks, stretch tat into the interior, and as their 


flocks increase, the fieurmers move further and farther 

The climate of Australia does better for rearing 
sheep than for growing com. There are long 
seasons of drought when no rain falls, and then, 
in the wet season, sheets of water come down all 
at once until the streets of the towns look like 

As Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the 
seasons there are just the reverse of our own. Our 
summer is their winter, the wet season of Australia, 
and their Christmas Day comes in bright summer 
weather when it is nearly too hot to be out of doors ; 
at least, it would be too hot anywhere else, but in 
Australia the heat is generally pleasant. 

Many travellers have laboured to explore the in- 
terior of Australia, and some of these have been lost. 
Those who have returned bring word that there is a 
good deal of sandy desert and a good deal of stony 
desert in the interior, but among these wastes are 
patches of pasture land. 

The three settlements on the east, New South 
Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, are all busy and 
prosperous; their chief towns, Sydney, Melbourne, 
and Brisbane, have wide, straight streets and hand- 
some public buildings, and are in every way fine 
English towns. 

Much of South Australia is unexplored, but there 
is little doubt that by far the larger part of it is 
occupied by dry, bare steppes. The most valuable 
part of this colony lies along the Flinders range of 
mountains, which extends from the eastern side of 


Spencer Gulf northwards towards the salt lakes 
Torrens and Eyre. These hills contain gold, silyer, 
and copper ; along their slopes, wheat, the yine, and 
other fruits are cultivated ; and ¥dde pasture lands 
surround this hill country. Adelaide is the capital 
city. Sheep are reared in Western Australia, but 
of this part oi the continent but little is yet known. 

Much of the rest of Australia is a wilderness, 
where the bare soil is encrusted with salt, and often 
covered with impenetrable thickets of a kind of 
prickly acacia; the little water channels or ^* creeks'' 
dry up in the summer, and the animals search for 
standing pools. These deserts are not even in- 
habited by the aborigines, who are a miserable race 
of savages, short and ugly, and belonging to the 
tribes called Oceanic Negroes ; they wear no clothes, 
do not hunt, or fish, or till the ground, but eat dis- 
'gusting food — worms, grubs, lizards, whatever they 
can find. There are not many of these wretched 
people, and they are dying out, for they do not seem 
able to learn the ways of civilised men. 

The pleasant island of Tasmania lies off the south- 
east comer of Australia, from which it is divided by 
Bass Strait. Its climate is like that of England, 
and where the island is cultivated, its villages and 
orchards and hedged fields remind one of the 
" mother country." The people are of British origin. 

o 2 



At a distance of about 1200 miles sonth-east of the 
mainland of Australia lie the islands of New Zealand. 
They are nearly at the antipodes of our island of 
Great Britain, that is, a line drawn through the 
centre of the globe from England would come out 
near them on the other side of the world. The 
group consists of two large islands, a northern and a 
southern, and of several smaller ones. The extent 
of the islands together ia somewhat less than that of 
the United Kingdom. 

Both islands are mountainous, and both have 
many rivers and. lakes; the climate is like that of 
the British Isles. Forests of lofty pines and other 
evergreen trees, tree ferns and vegetation matted 
together by the rope-like smUax, occupy a large 
share of North, and some parts of South Island. 
Other parts are overgrown with ferns breast high, 
and others are well adapted for pasture. 

Though New Zealand has no native quadrupeds, 
the plains of South Island are now so well stocked 
with sheep that wool has become one of the chief 
exports of the colony. The northern and eastern 
districts of South Mand are those best fitted for 
agriculture, and here wheat, oats, and barley are 

New Zealand is very rich in minerals; in both 
islands gold-digging is carried on, and iron and coal 
are also found in South Island. 

When these islands were first discovered by 

P0LTNE8IA. 197 

Captain Cook, they were peopled by the Maories, 
by far the most handsome and intelligent race in 
all this oceanic region. A long-continued war was 
carried on during the years in which the British 
took possession of and settled in these islands, and 
the brave Maories ftre now greatly reduced in 
numbers ; those who are left live peaceably in North 
Island chiefly, but the colonists are six or seven 
times as numerous. The chief towns are Welling- 
ton, Auckland, and Dunedin. The islands belong to 
England and are ruled by a British Governor. 


The name Polynesia, or "many islands," is given 
to the numerous small islands and groups of islets 
in the Pacific. Some of these are mountainous, 
and these have usually been upheaved from the 
bottom of the sea; that is, they are of volcanic 
formation, and many of them still contain active 
volcanoes which belch out flame, ashes, and molten 
lava. The Society Isles in the centre of the South 
Pacific are volcanic. Tahiti, the largest of this 
group, is famous for its beautiful mountains, valleys, 
and cascades. 

The Sandwich Islands, by far the most important 
to the north of the equator, are also volcanic There 
are eight larger islands in the group, and in Hawaii, 
which is the largest island in mid-ocean, there are 
large volcanoes, and the crater (or opening) of one 
of these is like a lake of fire. The natives of the 


Sandwicli IslaadB hare a king or queen of their own, 
and -are for the moet part ChriatianB. Honolalu, 
their capital cit;, is qnite a handsome town. 

The low islands of the Pacific have a very 
curious history ; in this ooean, a little animal called 
the conJ-polTp makes for itself a hard stony 
skeleton ont of the tiny atoms of lime which it 

draws from the sea-water. As millions of these 
polype grow together, one stony skeleton branching 
oQt of another, they form great reefs of solid rock 
which sometimes appear above the water as islands, 
and sometimes barely rise to the water's edge. This 
is the case in the Great Barrier Beef of Anstralia, on 
which the swell of the ocean breaks continually, form- 
ing a long line of white foam, while the sea within 
the barrier is calm and still. This reef, which skirts 


the north-eskstern coast for a length of more than 
1200 miles, is the longest coral belt in the world. 
Bat the coral islands are generally round, consisting 
of a low reef in the form of a ring, and, in the 
centre, a blue lagoon, or lake of salt water, con- 
nected with the ocean by one or two openings. The 
reef is generally fringed with palm trees, and the 
whole island is more loyely than you can imagine. 
Such islands are called atolb. 

But all the islands of Polynesia are beautiful; 
they lie within the torrid zone, and receiye much 
moisture from the ocean, so are green and fertile 
and full of glowing flowers and fruits. The coco- 
palm affords the principal food of the people ; but 
the breadfruit, yam, sweet potato, banana, coffee, 
sugar, and rice, all flourish in these happy isles. 
The natives manage their canoes well, and are in 
some of the islands a merry race, delighting to adorn 
themselves with the beautiful flowers their island 
homes produce. 

New Ouinea, or Papua, is the largest island in all 
Polynesia — ^indeed it is five times as large as England 
and Wales. The country is almost covered with 
dense forests in which are many kinds of birds of 
the most gorgeous and beautiful plumage. The few 
Mzzly-haired natives live in small villages. 

Questions on the Map of Australia. 

1. Between what oceans does Australia lie? 

2. Name the five divisions of the island. Which is the largest ? 
Which is the least populous ? 

8. The only large river is in the south-east ; name it. What is 
its large tributary called ? 


4. Id ^hat parts of Australia are there mountainB ? Name 
those of New Boiith Wales and of South Australia. 

5. Name three or four large lakes in South Australia. 

6. Give the chief towns of each of the four provinces on the east 
and south-east. 

7. A town in Western Australia. 

8. A large gulf in the north. What river flows into it ? 

9. A smaller gulf in the south. 

10. Name the capes and bays round the coast. 

11. Where is the Australian Bight ? 

12. What island is divided from Australia by Bass Strait ? 

13. Name a town in this island. 

14. What lands does Torres Strait separate ? 

15. Name three groups of islands in the Pacific, a thousand miles 
or so to the north-east of Australia. A large island to the north. 

16. Two large distant islands to the south-east 

17. What strait divides North Island from South Island? 

18. Name two towns in North Island. Two capes on its coasts. 

19. A town in South Island. 

20. A range of mountains in South Island. 

21. Name the small island which forms quite the south of New 

22. About how long is New Zealand? How broad? 

23. State roughly the length and breadth of Australia at its 
longest and broadest parts.